Posts Tagged ‘training’

Managers Need Training to Meet Expanding Expectations

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A survey reported in “The Wall Street Journal” yesterday discovered that, while companies are adding responsibilities to managers’ already heavy workloads, they aren’t providing training that helps those managers handle their expanding responsibilities. Standard approaches, such as relying on “loaned executive” programs to nonprofits, company-developed formal training, or support from HR, were rated as the least helpful forms of training.

The most helpful training, according to managers surveyed, were provided by external leadership programs, encouragement from family and friends and support from peer networks. Leadership training for people who are promoted is the main exception.

However, the author and conductor of the survey, Herminia Ibarra, quickly adds that fewer people are being promoted, so the overall benefits of such training are not as far-reaching as previously. One of her conclusions is that continual training should be the standard, especially for “promising” managers, who will have the opportunity to learn from their peers over a long period of time as they all develop their skills. Ibarra also recommends that organizations facilitate more cross-departmental collaboration so that individuals get to know co-workers in other areas and gain better understanding of the roles and operations across the company.

Another recent survey found that soft skills training is the greatest needed in the corporate world. Individuals who lack so-called “people skills,” including the core component of communication, are unable to collaborate and that inability results in diminishes productivity and overall organizational effectiveness. Corporate Storytelling training provides the tools not only for clearly informing, directing, and supporting others, but also teaches the importance of listening–an often overlooked necessity in today’s constantly “plugged-in” world.

How are your storytelling and listening skills?

Two Steps to Creating a Culture of Learning

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Employees certainly need training on occasion, such as when they first join a company and need to become familiar with the organization’s processes; or when new systems are installed; or when they’re being groomed for a higher-level or leadership role. But why is training so often boring? Is it really necessary to be so dry as to put the audience to sleep?

Those are the questions by an article at blog.crowdbase.com–and of course, the answer is, No! Training doesn’t need to be–and shouldn’t be–boring! In fact, professional trainers know very well that getting the audience involved and giving them opportunities to apply key lessons right away are crucial elements of learning. What’s more, it’s been shown that when people are having a good time (yes, actually laughing and having fun!), they learn more easily and retain the knowledge.

The crowdbase blog offers two great tips for creating a culture of learning without breaking the bank: 1) Involve your employees by inviting them to share their own expertise and providing the tools, such as videos, for doing so; and 2) Nurture a storytelling culture in which people share their successes; in this way, co-workers learn from one another and create a database of tried and true techniques and professional practices.

Both ideas are excellent for several reasons: 1) People like to learn from people they know and admire; 2) Lessons from co-workers are automatically relevant and valuable because the parties involved work in the same culture with the same set of values; 3) The “teacher” is readily accessible for follow-up questions and discussions; 4) Employees want recognition more than monetary rewards, so being asked to share their knowledge and experiences is highly valued compensation for a job well done.

How can your organization create a culture of learning–or strengthen its current learning practices? If you aren’t yet sponsoring  employee-led classes or fostering storytelling circles, how soon can you begin?

Your Personal Story Is Key to Success

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

In the drive to build a successful career, most people have followed traditional guidance. It starts with learning to play well with others in pre-school, in the neighborhood and on the school playground. From kindergarten on, you’re told to pay attention in class, do your homework, make your best effort, get a good education, and then be willing to start at the bottom and do whatever you’re asked to do, even if the work seems beneath someone with your now-stellar preparation!

The one piece of important advice that’s often missing is this: Know your personal story and tell it well.

Yes, your personal story is crucial to your career success. That point was driven home to me this week when I talked with a prospective client about a training program for top-level managers being considered for the ultimate promotion to partner. One of the factors the candidates will be judged on is the authenticity and relevance of their personal stories. Why you? How have you proven yourself? Are you ready for the top?

Using the personal stories as one of the selection criteria clearly illustrates the truth of Annette Simmons’ book title: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins.

How about you? Do you clearly answer the questions in your audience’s minds when you’re trying to sell a service, a product, an idea–or yourself as the right person for the position?