Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #688: Experiencing Failed Communication

On September 12, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #688: Experiencing Failed Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

The following activities were designed and facilitated by Mercy Corps staff who attended a train the trainer session in Amman, Jordan. Each activity demonstrates one or more reasons why communication fails.

Secret Message:  Heba Asaad created a game about seven factors of communication. She split the eight people into four teams: A and B. The A teams at each table were given a secret message and told to mold playdough so that it represented the message.

Once the A teams were done, Heba placed clown masks on them. She told the B teams that they could only ask closed questions to try … Read the rest

Tip #687: Why Top Performers Leave

On September 5, 2017, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #687: Why Top Performers Leave

The culture of a workplace – an organization’s values, norms and practices – has a huge impact on our happiness and success. Adam Grant

I just read an article by Jeff Buenrostro in the August 15th issue of Forbes. The article caught my attention because of its title: “Obituary Writing and Retention.” Catchy, isn’t it?

Mr. Buenrostro writes that leaders can retain top talent if they know what those employees value- and if those values coincide with the organization’s values.

He suggests that leaders have their employees write their own obituaries. He believes that this will benefit the leaders because they will learn what matters to their employees. He adds that it will also benefit the employees, because … Read the rest

Tip #686: New Perspectives

On August 29, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #686: New Perspectives

“Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.” Alan Kay

I recently conducted a workshop to introduce U.S. trainers to a variety of creative learning activities designed by Jordanians. The workshop began by explaining the context in which the activities were designed.

Because the participants in the Jordanian train the trainer program work for Mercy Corps, their focus was on major issues. These include: a poor economy, non-existent energy and water resources, lack of women’s equity, violence against women, and the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on a poor country with limited resources.

My intention was to explain how each activity was designed and facilitated, and then have the workshop participants experience it in an adapted form. I did my best … Read the rest

Tip #685: Better Learning From Mistakes

On August 22, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #685: Better Learning From Mistakes

“There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons.” Denis Waitley

[Note: All of the information in this Tip is drawn from “Why Mistakes Matter in Creating a Path for Learning,” by Claudia Wallis in The Hechinger Report (7-26-17).]

Did you know that:

  1. We pay more attention when we make an error?
  2. If we are surprised that our answer is wrong, this really gets our attention?
  3. The more certain we are of our wrong answer, the better we will learn the right one after being corrected?
  4. Learners need permission to make mistakes so they can learn from them?
  5. The best way to help them learn from their mistakes is to ask learners to explain how they got their answers-
Read the rest

Tip #684: Engagement or Redirection?

On August 15, 2017, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #684: Engagement or Redirection?

“Engagement may have been optional in the past, but it’s pretty much the whole game today.” Gary Hamel

I recently read about a Forrester Research report on employee engagement (or the lack thereof). It was based on round-table discussions with 40 senior managers from different companies.

The report noted that constant work and communication are two keys to maintaining employee engagement. However, the report also advised employers to “minimize the increased pressure at work.”

I assume that the basis for the recommendation for constant work is the idea that employees who are always busy either are engaged or have no time to become disengaged.

I do wonder at the type of constant work the polled managers had in mind. … Read the rest

Tip #683: Learning or Performance?

On August 8, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #683: Learning or Performance?

“The most effective learning in the new world of work occurs when engaged individuals work out loud and share their knowledge. Training and education will remain as inputs, but minor ones. Learning through experience will be essential, a key part of the 70 and 20 in the 70:20:10 model.”  Harold Jarch

I have always told the participants in train-the-trainer classes that training is about the learner, not the instructor. But what I have neglected to say is that training is ultimately about performance, not just skill acquisition.

In their book: 702010 Towards 100% Performance, Jos Arets, Charles Jennings and Vivian Heijnen point out that there are significant differences between learning and performance paradigms

Learning Paradigm

70:20:10 Paradigm

Focus on
Read the rest