Leaders Support Learning and Development Work

We’ve all been there—a training session, a professional development day, or leadership workshop we enjoyed but never applied the concepts.

Maybe it was good information, delivered decently, with acceptable materials. Yet something kept us from applying it. Perhaps we blame it on the session itself for not having enough takeaways.

Or maybe it was great information, delivered well, with slick materials. We write “Great takeaways!” on the evaluation and intend to make changes in our daily work life. However, we hit roadblocks and never made the adjustements.

An effective training session includes these elements: 

  • Prior to the session, the facilitator sets goals and designs the content to meet those goals.
  • The facilitator takes cognitive load and effective learning into account. 
  • Delivery focuses on the audience to gain effectiveness.
  • The session includes role-playing, practice, application plans, and accountability structure.

Even when all the elements are in place, we need to acknowledge the following realities:

  • There is a “forgetting curve.”
  • Effective learning happens over time.
  • Participants increase buy-in through consistant reinfrocement of the material’s relevancy.

An internal leader who takes ownership of the comprehensive learning process is essential to retention.

Organizational leaders need to know what to do after a training. Of course, the trainer holds responsibility to inform leaders how to move forward.

Leaders and their team members get the most out of sessions by talking about action items and asking for examples of their use.

So, the next time you’re tempted to say, “We never applied anything we did in that session,” turn to someone else and ask, “When can we apply this material next?” Come up with an answer, work through the solution, then discuss the results.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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