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Tip #679: There are No Dry Topics

On July 11, 2017, Posted by , In learning activities,Uncategorized, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #679: There are No Dry Topics

“I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don’t have to stay that way.” Hedy Lamarr

There are no dry topics, just dry training.

If you don’t believe me, consider these two creative participant-centered learning activities that replace the lecture typically used for teaching rules and benefits.

These activities were designed and facilitated during the Professional Trainers’ Certificate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Continuing Studies.

Note: For both activities, the participants are seated five to a table. The activities work best if there is an even number of participants and no more than 5 content items.

Using art to teach rules and test retention. (With thanks to James Phetteplace)

  1. Provide a list of the rules.
  2. Have each participant
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Tip #663:   Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice!

On March 21, 2017, Posted by , In communication,Uncategorized, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #663:   Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice!

“The people sensible enough to give good advice are usually sensible enough to give none.”  Eden Phillpotts

There are a number of reasons why people give unsolicited advice. If you have such a tendency, see if any of the following sound familiar:

  1. They assume that the person wants to hear their opinion of what they themselves would do in the situation.
  2. They had a similar problem that they solved successfully, so naturally they feel obliged to share it.
  3. They worry that, since they are the boss, they will look incompetent if they do not immediately offer their advice or solution to the problem.
  4. They know that they are expected to offer advice because they are known to be the “fixers”
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Tip #662: Getting to the Root of a Problem

On March 14, 2017, Posted by , In management and leadership,Uncategorized, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #662: Getting to the Root of a Problem
“When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
There are many reasons why solutions to problems are often ineffective, such as the fact that they:

1.     address symptoms rather than the real problem.

2.     are based on insufficient or inaccurate information.

3.     are made for subjective rather than objective reasons.

4.     are made for the sake of expediency.

5.     fix only one part of a larger problem.

6.     are based on the wrong root cause.

7.     are unrealistic.

8.     are the wrong solutions for the real problem.

9.     do not consider all of the contributing factors.

10.  are beyond the scope of those who have to implement them.

11.   solve the

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Tip #658: Four Roles Necessary for Productive Communication

On February 14, 2017, Posted by , In communication,Uncategorized, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #658: Four Roles Necessary for Productive Communication

“The essence of dialogue is an inquiry that surfaces ideas, perceptions and understanding that people do not already have.”  William Isaacs

One very basic communication model states that communication requires three basic elements: the sender (speaker), the receiver (listener), and the message.

However, according to David Kantor there are four roles that a person can take in any conversation. In Kantor’s Four Player Model, these roles include the Mover, the Follower, the Opposer and the Bystander.

Productive communications require the active participation of all four roles, whether we are holding an internal dialogue or are in dialogue with a group of people.

  1. The Mover initiates ideas and offers direction. This works best if the Mover speaks authentically and encourages
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