Laurel and Associates, Ltd.

Category Archives : learning

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
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Tip #681:  Critical Thinking

On July 21, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By , With Comments Off on Tip #681:  Critical Thinking

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” Christopher Hitchens

What if you were asked the question (with thanks to Tina Ahlgrim): “If your world only used 20 words, what would they be?”

How would you even begin to think of an answer?

Let’s see if critical thinking can help.

According to The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools by Richard Paul and Linda Elder, a well cultivated critical thinker does four specific things. We will take each in turn to see if it leads us to our twenty questions.

  1. “Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely.”

What vital questions can we ask ourselves? How about:… Read the rest

Tip #678: Occam’s Razor at Home

On July 5, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #678: Occam’s Razor at Home

“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein

I hate the Woody Allen quote: “Those who can’t do, teach,” because that is definitely a myth. Yet unfortunately, I occasionally find that I ignore the principles that I know and teach others to follow!

Take, for instance, Occam’s razor. It is commonly understood that this principle means that if there are two or more explanations for an occurrence, the simpler one is usually best.

This “law of briefness” is more directly translated from William of Ockham’s Latin to mean: “More things should not be used than are necessary.”

“Razor” is used as a metaphor, indicating that unnecessary things (like hair that is too long) should be shaved off.… Read the rest

Tip #677: Getting Over Excel Phobia

On June 27, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #677: Getting Over Excel Phobia

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was in high school, I took a statistics class that, to this day, has left me in abject terror whenever I am faced with anything related to statistics.

Our teacher decided that since we were an “honors” class, the best way for us to learn statistics was to find the errors in a statistics book. It didn’t work, for obvious reasons. If you don’t know what you are supposed to be looking at, how can you tell if it’s wrong?

That teacher left the school … Read the rest

Tip #673: Would You Like a Memory Trick?

On May 30, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #673: Would You Like a Memory Trick?

“Memory is more indelible than ink.” Anita Loos

I attended a webinar with Ida Shessel, who discussed five elements that increase the likelihood that a memory will be imprinted in the brain. She believes that we can boost learning retention if we incorporate some, if not all, of the following memory imprint elements:

  • Visual
  • Rare or unusual
  • Linked or associated to something
  • Movement (that enhances the visual)
  • Emotional

Ida demonstrated one very powerful way to do this through the link-method, which is an image-based technique for memorizing lists. It uses visualization and association to change abstract facts into mental pictures that are easy to remember. This works because most people’s brains can remember visual images (pictures) much easier than abstract … Read the rest

Tip #664: Staff Development Options

On April 4, 2017, Posted by , In learning,training resources, By , With Comments Off on Tip #664: Staff Development Options

It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”  Queen Elizabeth II

Staff development is defined as the improvement of the knowledge and skills of employees within an organization by providing them with training.

Organizations that invest in staff development have found that it improves efficiency, improves productivity, ensures the continuation of institutional knowledge, reduces turnover, reduces costs, improves employee morale, and increases employee job satisfaction. Staff development may also give the organization greater scheduling flexibility and may lead to operational improvements.

Staff development can take many forms, as the following table illustrates.

Staff Development Conducted within the Organization
Mentoring A deliberate pairing of a more skilled/experienced person with a less
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