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  • Friday, November 09, 2018 9:17 AM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    I am so excited to announce ATD-MAC's newest offering - All Things. All Things is a chance to take a piece of our field and dive deep for an entire month into "All Things" related to that topic. Throughout November, we are diving into All Things Coaching. 

    All Things Coaching will feature a 4-part blog series by Ryan Panzer, ATD-MAC member, blogger, and training and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office. Ryan's series will tackle internal coaching programs, establishing a coaching business, executive coaching, and integrative coaching as he dives into the research and best practices in the industry. We'll release one blog per week as we dive into All Things Coaching. 

    In the middle of the blog series, we'll also offer our first ever Live Facebook Event: All Things Coaching. Put on your jammies and grab a glass of wine when you join us for free, online November 20th from 8:00-8:45 pm. You'll have a chance to win great prizes, learn more about coaching, connect with the coaching community in Madison, and we'll cap it all of with a question and answer session with Ryan Panzer live on Facebook. Register today and receive an early entry into our price drawings. 

    We look forward to seeing you online throughout November as were try something totally new in bringing you the All Things Coaching Blog Series and Facebook Live Event. This is part of ATD-MAC's commitment to bringing you the best and most innovative ways to continue your professional development. 

    Thanks! And keep reading for our first post!
    Erin Lavery
    Vice President of Marketing, ATD-MAC


    Is Your Organization Ready for a Coaching Program?
    Ryan Panzer

    When is the "right" time to start a coaching program?

    Recently, I moved into a Learning and Development role at a company with no formal training or coaching program. as we have built out employee onboarding, ongoing product training, and a professional development curriculum, we have tried to assess the ideal timing for launching a coaching initiative. When would we start training managers to have a coaching conversation with their team? When would we begin to provide coaching support to our organization's leadership? Amidst the demand of so many other programs, our inevitable answer to the aforementioned questions is "later."

    Given the competing projects and priorities that are intrinsic to many Learning and Development teams who work in a rapid/agile environment, is it inevitable that the cultural transformation necessary for an effective coaching program will take a permanent seat on the "to-do" list? So maybe asking about the "right" time for coaching is not the right question to ask!

    Perhaps the right question, at first, is: "how might I intentionally cultivate a culture of coaching within my organization?"

    This is an easier question, as you can justify moving coaching initiatives up from the backlog by considering the core characteristics of coaching. 

    The ATD Competency Model defines coaching as the ability to "apply a systematic process to improve others' ability to set goals, take action, and maximize strengths." Because coaching is process-oriented and results-focused, it has the ability to improve all types of performance issues - including performance issues related to motivation, knowledge/skills, or organizational structures. Training, by the way, is usually only effective where performance issues stem from a deficiency in knowledge or skills. Perhaps this is why organizations who practice both coaching and training see faster results and an easier transfer for learning from coaching!

    With these characteristics as the bedrock of coaching it is unsurprising that coaching is hardly theoretical. 

    The Human Capital Institute identified that organizations with a strong coaching culture report 7% higher "revenues above that of their industry peer group" with 8% higher employee engagement. Similarly, Gartner found that customer contact organizations that utilize coaching experience a 12.2% average increase in agent performance (2014 Coaching Fundamentals Guide). Perhaps the innate effectiveness of coaching is part of the reason why 31 sessions at ATD ICE 208 had a coaching focus, while the expo hall was packed with 35 coaching exhibitors.

    Given its intrinsic versatility and potential, the question that TD professionals should ask next is: "What type of coaching program is my organization ready for?"

    There are a few different modalities to emulate in a coaching program - executive coaching, integrated coaching, and coaching as a habit, to name a few. The intended audience and expected benefit of each modality vary considerably. There is rarely a universal approach to coaching, which why it is so scalable, and why it needs to be shaped with analysis and intentionality. 

    In the coming weeks, the ATD-MAC Blog will explore coaching from multiple perspectives. We will interview coaching practitioners here in the Madison area, and we will review the current literature on coaching to see what is working. Along the way, we hope you gain a few insights to continues to shape the cultures of coaching in your organization. 

    Ryan Panzer
    Ryan Panzer is a trainer and instructional designer at Zendesk's Madison office where he is currently working to launch a coaching program. Prior to working for Zendesk, Ryan trained sales and customer support teams at Google's Ann Arbor office. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on ATD's CPLP certification. He is passionate about Badger football and building cultures of learning. 


  • Wednesday, August 08, 2018 9:38 AM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    by Jenn Stangl

    ATD-MAC’s August is all about you. It’s about you, about your brand, about your power. Our August session features Courtney Davidson in a powerful session on your personal brand. At “Making Your Mark” , you’ll learn how to get noticed by recruiters, and you’ll also learn how to build your brand in your current role. So, this August, dive into you. Head into September empowered and emboldened to meet your most important and pressing needs. 

    I recently took an online course called Building Personal Power. The course is focused on understanding ways of analyzing power dynamics in organizationsas well as thinking about how to build your own skills in exercising power and influence.  

    Throughout the course, we read pieces of Power: Why Some People Have It – and Others Don’t by Jeffery Pfeffer. If you are interested in the idea of power and learning more, it is an interesting read.  In chapter two, Jeffery discusses personal qualities that create power. As I read this chapter, I found myself reflecting on my personal qualities – strengths, areas of development and what I felt was important for me regarding power.  

    To give you an opportunity to reflect as well, here are Pfeffer’s 7 Qualities for Creating Personal Power:  

    1. AMBITION “Success requires effort and hard work as well as persistence.” 

    Do It! Be goal-oriented. If you have your sights set on a goal, you have an easier time overlooking the general frustrations or daily annoyances that could otherwise distract you.

    2. ENERGY “Energy, like many emotional states such as anger or happiness, is contagious.”
    Do It! Leverage your energy and provide inspiration to others, demonstrate your commitment to the organization, and be willing to put the time into achieving goals.

    3. FOCUS “… evidence suggests that you are more likely to acquire power by narrowing focus and applying your energies … to limited range of activities in a smaller number of domains.”
    Do it! Specialize when you can. Specialization provides a depth of understanding and substantial web of focused relationships.  

    4. SELF-KNOWLEDGE “There is no learning and personal development without reflection.”
    Do It! Reflect on your interactions and learn from what went well and identify what you’d do differently next time. 

    5. CONFIDENCE “Because power is likely to cause people to behave in a more confident fashion, observers will associate condiment behavior with actually having power.”
    Do It! Your title can demonstrate power, but when you are working with those who don’t know your background, you need to use your behavior to demonstrate power.

    6. EMPATHY WITH OTHERS “What sometimes gets in the way of putting ourselves in the shoes of others is too much focus on the end goal and our own objectives.” 
    Do It! In order to succeed with negotiations, you need to recognize where the other individual is coming from.

    7. CAPACITY TO TOLERATE CONFLICT “If you can handle difficult conflict- and stress-filled situations effectively, you have an advantage over most people.”
    Do it! Build your skill in addressing conflict as most people are conflict-averse and avoid situations where they need to engage others in a difficult conversation. 

    Throughout the course, I’m been reflecting on a series of questions that I want to share with you. I would be curious for you to share your thoughts using #ATDMACPersonalPower on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

    • What does power mean to me?  
    • Is there one qualityI feel is more important than any others to obtaining power? 
    • Are there any qualities I feel are astrength for me?  
    • What are the qualities I’d like to develop?
    • Is power important for me to have?


    Jennifer Stangl is the Director of Professional Development at CUES. She also serves as the Past President of ATD-MAC.

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018 10:13 AM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Summer Social: Kicking Off the ATD-MAC Summer Savings Series
    by Jenn Stangl

    Our annual ATD-MAC Summer Social was held on July 19th. This year we took part in a private Betty Lou Cruise full of spectacular views of Madison and never-ending food and drink! Captain Steve shared details about our beautiful city, pointing out some landmarks and even let some drive the boat. 

    Although we encountered a few rain showers, we enjoyed time on the deck, enjoying the fresh air, wonderful views and engaging conversation with one another. As talent development professionals, we spend so much time supporting the development of others, it is wonderful to have an opportunity to build our own networks. Whether you are an ATD-MAC member or a guest, thank you for joining us. We hope to see you at a future event and encourage you to check out our events page to learn more about our upcoming events.   

    A reminder to members, our Summer Savings Series is in full swing, so August and September events will be free to members. If you are not a member, there is still time to join and get the benefits of the Summer Savings Series. Come join us to engage in discussion with your peers and build your professional network. 

    If you have ideas for future social, networking or professional development events, we’d love to hear them.  You can email us at admin@atdmac.org to share your thoughts!


    Jennifer Stangl is the Director of Professional Development at CUES. She also serves as the Past-President of ATD-MAC.

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:53 PM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Bringing the Learning to You: 2018 ATD ICE Review
    by Jenn Stangl

    I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 ATD International Conference and Exposition in San
    Diego in early May. I was personally excited to go, and not just because the climate was a bit more stable than Madison this time of year.  As ATD celebrates 75 years, this year’s event was designed to celebrate the importance of this milestone. 

    The first event was Chapter Leader Day, during which I had the chance to interact with other chapter leaders from around the country. We discussed ideas to build strategic partnerships to support our chapters and shared ideas for programming events within our chapters. I came back with ideas to share with our board and see what we can to do support our members! 

    Mixed throughout the week were multiple other sessions and I’ll share a few points from some of the sessions I attended:

    KeyNOTES


    General sessions

    Learning as a Competitive Advantage - focused on the news to reframe how we think about the phases of our career. 4 out of 6 drivers of employee engagement deal with career or skill development. We need to make learning accessible in a way that matches how people learn, help them make sense and manage all the available resources.  Ask individuals to share — how do you learn?  Use this information to guide the resources you provide.

    Women: Ignite Your Personal Brand- looked at how you market your brand.  If you want people to know who you are, it’s up to you to share it.  People pay attention to the way you walk, talk, meet and treat people.  Create primary and secondary advocates (your unofficial sales team). Expand your skills and knowledge by being courageous; take risks and be willing to let go of something in the past to move forward; get involved strategically in your company, industry and community. Identify what you have expertise in and share it with others.

    Neuroscience of Behavior - Behavioral changes occur when individuals have the capability (psychological and physical ability), opportunity (physical and social environment) that enables behavior change and motivation (reflective and automatic mechanisms that activate or inhibit behavior). Many times, we assume that behavior didn’t change as a result of capability and therefore training is the answer. 

    Evidence-based themes for new leader mentoring program - The average age an individual moves into their first leadership position is 30 years old. The average age an individual receives their first focused leadership development opportunities is 42 years old. Mentors offer career-related and emotional/psychological support. Focus mentoring programs on helping leaders to focus their mindset, skill set, relationships, ‘do-it-all’ attitude, perspective and focus.

    I walked away from the conference with ideas to implement in my organization, ideas for our chapter, new connections with other talent development and chapter leaders, and actions I want to take for my own personal development.

    It was a great experience and I recommend looking at the event in the years to come and consider attending. Use it as an opportunity to connect with others in the field, learn new perspectives, find new ways to do something and bring it back to your own network. If you have questions about the conference or want to hear more about any of the sessions I mentioned above, please reach out to me. I'd love to share with you!


    Jennifer Stangl is the Director of Professional Development at CUES. She also serves as the President of ATD-MAC.

  • Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:10 AM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Member Spotlight

    We would like to welcome all of our new members and thank all of our returning members from Q1 of 2018 – see our Q1 Member Report below. We are more than thrilled to announce a 7% increase in our Power Membership in the month of April. Thank you to everyone who renewed as a local and national member (and for locking in the great savings!). Don’t forget to claim your free State of the Industry Reportas a Power Member.

    Part of growing the profession together is having a chance to connect and brainstorm with professionals who are influencing the development field. Member Spotlight is one way that we introduce you to top influencers in the Madison learning community. In this quarter’s spotlight, we are honored to feature Dani Olsen. Dani is a frequent participant in ATD-MAC’s monthly sessions and has also steadily volunteered with the board. She is the Talent Development Administrator for Park Bank in Madison, and is doing amazing work to build leader development and staff engagement through her work.

    Meet Dani Olsen

    Hello, friends of ATD! I’m Dani Olsen, and I’ve been a member since May of 2013. I have been with Park Bank here in the Madison areas for eight and a half years now, with all but nine months of that time in the training function. In my current role, my projects include the development of a new training program for new associates; training Crucial Conversations; assisting with the facilitation of programs such as Sales training, Sales Management Training, and multiple management & leadership courses; coordinating training for new bank-wide systems, and, as they say in the infomercials, “much, much more!” 

    As the sole dedicated trainer at the bank, having ATD has proven to be an important resource to my own development. The opportunity to improve my understanding of the role of L&D professionals in the workplace, expand my skillset as a facilitator of learning, and network with highly talented colleagues in the community has proven to be invaluable. 

    My interest in coaching and helping others improve does not end with the workday. I help coach a U16 tournament softball team with my former college teammate. I also enjoy staying active however I can – softball and volleyball leagues, hiking and camping with my fiancé, and playing with our three dogs outside. Bring on spring! 


  • Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:58 PM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Whether you’re dreaming about attending I.C.E.or ready to up your Rapid Development game here in Madison in May, we’ve got you covered. @Andrea Meade is letting you in on her secrets to getting paid for your development. We’ve taken her advice, too, and provided you with the ROI for ATD-MACmembership based on Andrea’s strategy. 

    5 Steps to Convince Your Company to Reimburse your Development
    By Andrea Meade

    I am often asked, “How did you convince your employer to help reimburse your expenses related to your professional certifications and development?” For instance, my CPLP was paid for in full by a previous employer. Conference attendance as well as professional memberships (including ATD) also have costs associated with them that my employers usually pay for. 

    1)    Research your company’s policies regarding professional development and employee expense reimbursement. Many companies already have policies in place allowing for full reimbursement, while others will compensate a percentage of the cost, or may have policies contingent on performance or frequency of sessions. If you’re unsure what the policy is, reach out to your HR department or manager.  

    2)    Once you have a clear understanding of the policiesresearch what it is you want to do and the costs associated for it. I recommend breaking it down into a spreadsheet to help outline your expenses and do the math for you. 

    How to Calculate Cost:

    • Use www.gsa.gov when calculating cost for meals, lodging and incidentals.  
    • There are perks to staying in hotels arranged by conferences, such as additional networking opportunities, free shuttles, and typically a negotiated rate that is better than the GSA per diem rate.
    • Check plane fares often – the pricing does change periodically.  Remember to include parking if you’re leaving your car at the airport or consider a ride sharing service.
    • Don’t factor in just the cost of a class or certification.  Remember to include things like learning materials, extra online classes, etc.
    3)    Now that you have your breakdown of the financial implications, you need to sell the opportunity and experience to your company or manager by conveying the benefits they will reap from your attendance. Depending on the subject of the training, you might find additional support on the website for the conference or the hosting organization. Make them understand the ROI for your entire team. 
    In your pitch, answer the questions:
    • What are the benefits of physically attending an event versus a virtual seminar?
    • Why is this the best event/conference for you to attend compared to a similar event/conference?
    • What will you bring back to your company as a benefit? Be ready with statements. 

    4)    Document everything in writing. This is often times already a policy in place with your employer, but if not, it’s a great best practice. Specifically, written approvals should always be maintained should you need to submit expense reports, change managers, etc.

    5)    Once you receive approval, be sure to save the receipts if you pay for anything out of pocket.Remember to follow your company’s policies regarding expense reimbursement and record retention. If you have to use a company credit card. Be sure to also save those receipts.

    It’s important to remember, you can’t complain about not going to an event, or not having a membership if you never ask for the opportunity. Also hearing a, “No,” to one thing doesn’t mean it will always be a, “No,” to everything. Keep trying and show your value and what you need to continue to bring additional value to your workplace. 

    Don’t be surprised to have a bit of back and forth when trying to obtain approval for higher cost items. The company and your manager want to ensure that money from their budget is going to something that benefits the whole and provides rewards everyone can use. Expect some resistance, but know that with persistence and the right justification, you may find yourself going to a conference, having your membership dues paid, or having more resources at your disposal!


    Andrea has been working in the talent development field for over 10 years and obtained her Certified Professional in Learning and Performance from ATD in 2014. She started training because she simply had a knack for it. Since then, she has continued to grow as a trainer and develop her skills and experience in facilitation, instructional design and coaching.

  • Thursday, March 22, 2018 11:39 AM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Change Management 101 (a.k.a. How Not to Get Cussed Out by a Student)
    By Steve Klubertanz

    Consider this scenario: You are at a client site preparing to teach a new application or process that users must know for an upcoming implementation. You greet the participants as they enter and get settled in. The class starts and each student introduces themselves. All is going well . . . until a stern-looking student introduces himself by saying “Why do we have to learn this ‘@#$%^& thing?!”

    Yes, that happened to me years ago, and I presume most trainers have a similar nightmare story. Fortunately, I quickly and gently diffused the situation and the class ended smoothly.

    That “cussing guy” always crosses my mind when thinking about change management. Too often, organizations believe that training is the answer to any business change. They say “Just train the people, and they will be ready for the change, right?”  Wrong.

    For any business change to be successful, here is a simple five-step process to consider:

    1. The business must communicate and support the change. This means clearly explaining why the change is necessary and how it aligns with the strategic direction of the organization. It is imperative that senior leaders actively and visibly support the change. If people observe their senior leaders being indifferent or silent about the change, they are much less likely to support it.
    2. Those impacted by the change must decide on their level of support. Maybe they like the change and get on board right away.  Maybe they are ambivalent. Maybe they hate it. Maybe they realize they need to just accept it and move forward. The level of acceptance or resistance can vary widely.
    3. Learning is the next step. Only when people support or accept the change will they be receptive to any learning provided. NOTE: This is likely the reason why “cussing guy” resisted in my class. He was probably told to go to training without an explanation of why the change was needed. (Big “ah-ha” moment for me!)
    4. After the learning, people must have time to apply their new knowledge to better prepare for the change when it occurs.
    5. After the change, support mechanisms must be in place to reinforce the change and ensure the people do not revert back to the old way of doing things.

    So, as a change management specialist, what do I do a

    s it relates to this five-step process? And how can you do it, too?

    5 Best Practices to Supporting the 5 Step Change Process:

    1. Work with senior leaders, key stakeholders to identify all impacted groups and examine how their specific job role will change.
    2. Gauge the level of acceptance or resistance and develop communication plans to address all areas of concern.
    3. Conduct a learning needs assessment and work with the learning resource on any training deliverables.
    4. Ensure mechanisms are in place to support the learning after it has occurred.
    5. Gather feedback through surveys, interviews, or additional communication to gauge user acceptance and adoption of the new way of doing things.

    My role in change management has been eye-opening. It has expanded my paradigm of how user adoption to change really happens. I look much more holistically at the learning function and how it aligns with the entire change process. People are more prepared and ready to learn when they fully understand how the learning impacts themselves, their team, their department, and the business.

    The best news since applying effective change management? No student has cussed me out since.


    Steve Klubertanz is a Senior Change Management Specialist at TDS, Inc.  He is part of a team responsible for Enterprise-wide IT change initiatives. Steve has over twenty years of experience in training, education, and change management.  With a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from UW-Whitewater, he has had past roles in technical support, training manager, and senior training specialist. He has also presented at several regional and national conferences on various change management practices and methodology.

  • Monday, March 19, 2018 12:09 PM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Why the CPLP?: Understanding the Pros and Cons to Certification
    By Andrea Meade, CPLP

    A few years back I left my position as one of many trainers at my company, to become the sole trainer with a new organization. They wanted me to develop a training program for a computer application, implement it, and show success with it as soon possible – as in within a few weeks.  It was intimidating. Sure, I was a trainer, but I didn’t have enough confidence in what I was doing to imagine doing it on my own.  My new company had put their trust in me, and believed in me enough to follow a training plan I would generate. If they believed in me enough to get the job done, I needed to believe in myself too. 

    Of course, that is easier said than done. I was lucky that this organization also supported career development. They helped cover the cost of my ATD memberships and paid for classes to help me learn the skills that would build that confidence I needed. Through this process, I learned about the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). 

    The more I researched the CPLP, the more I realized this was a perfect fit and was clearly made for learning professionals of all walks of life. Though there are certainly a lot of positive aspects to getting your CPLP certification, but I wanted to share even more benefits based on my experience and also some concerns that are worth considering.


    If you think it’s something you would like to consider – go for it! And feel free to connect with me if you have any questions or need a study buddy!


    Andrea has been working in the talent development field for over 10 years and obtained her Certified Professional in Learning and Performance from ATD in 2014. She started training because she simply had a knack for it. Since then, she has continued to grow as a trainer and develop her skills and experience in facilitation, instructional design and coaching.

  • Monday, March 12, 2018 2:02 PM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Board Transition: Jacob’s Final Thoughts
    By: Jacob Burris, ATD-MAC Past President

    As I prepare to move off the ATD Madison Area Chapter Board for good, I cannot help but reflect on my experience in my nearly four years as an ATD Board member.  Originally, I took a Board position to network and boy, has it paid off in that respect! I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing people, dedicated fully to the Madison chapter. Each year, the Board asks the essential questions, “What’s Important Now?”, “What Do Our Members Want?”  “What Can We Do Better?”  This honest analysis and focus on Chapter members is what has made my experience unforgettable. On top of that, I’ve been able to connect month after month with the best and brightest our community has to offer. Madison is a smart town, and each month is like having a short course for FREE. I’ll confess that attending events for free was another initial draw, and that too has paid off in dividends. Lastly, serving on the Board has given me renewed perspective on what it means to serve. Being a board member is not a particularly taxing time commitment.  Yet, it does require showing up and being present, even when there are demands back at work. It means influencing without power while at the same time being influenced and advocating for member ideas or concerns. And it means caring, and surrounding yourself with others who care. I can attest that whatever challenges faced us as a Board and Chapter – I never doubted that everyone in the room really, really cared.

    Spring is a time of change and this spring we will be filling open Board positions in the President – Elect role, VP of Programming, VP of Administration, & VP of Membership as my colleagues currently in these roles also complete their years of service. Additionally, we’ve had a fantastic response since our Kick Off meeting in January for volunteers. We’re always looking for someone to help out – even small things like helping set up at an event. I encourage anyone who has thought about getting involved to reach out to Marc DeCarli, President – Elect, and make your voice heard.

     It has been an honor and a privilege – thank you.


    Jacob Burris, Past President

    Jacob Burris has been in the training space for over a decade, working with clients nationally and internationally, and facilitating to diverse business groups.  He’s an expert in onboarding, customer service, sales, leadership, virtual training and e-Learning design.  He also is a firm believer that when we’re through learning, we’re through.

    Remember to follow ATD MAC on social media:
     

  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:21 PM | Kevin Smith (Administrator)

    Get off the Stage: Transitioning Away From Training Sage
    by Erin Lavery

    Real talk: I think I was first drawn to training because I liked being the person who delivered “ah-ha” moments to people and because I loved being the center of the classroom’s attention. It’s a gross thing to admit, but it’s true. My approach to design reflected my desire to be the “sage on the stage.” Long, carefully scripted anecdotal monologues both let the learner learn and filled my lifelong dream of writing and starring in a one-woman Broadway show. 

    My first training job was a department-level trainer onboarding new hires. So, I guess this approach to design wasn’t a bad one for the situation. A bit of entertainment goes a long way in helping people remember policy compliance. However, my next career step was as an organization-level leadership trainer. My classes were filled by leaders with experiences to share and who also wanted results and not just entertainment. Based on the audience and its needs, it was no longer the right approach to be the center of the learning experience. I knew deep down that something needed to change, but I wasn’t sure what it was or how to train any differently.

    When I read the theories of Howard Gardner, it was like a light bulb went off. Well, that’s a nice way to say it. It actually felt more like a brick hit me in the face when I read “While experts need to have some of this inert knowledge, classroom teachers need to know how to coach and encourage their students, so that students can gain various literacies, come to love knowledge, know how to learn, and know how to assess their own growth”. It was at that moment I first started to dip my toe into the world of Facilitative Learning.

    Facilitative Learning is an approach to adult learning design that believes learners learn best when they are deeply involved in their own learning through questioning, discovery, and real-world application. It can be risky as an approach, but it is also incredibly powerful.

    Making the design and facilitation transition to this new approach wasn’t easy for me. In fact, it was awkward and felt a bit like free falling at first. It took time and practice to get good at the approach. Facilitative Learning is not as simple as asking a discussion question here or there. There is real risk and it takes honed skill to successfully open up the flow of design and hand it over to the learner. What if they don’t talk? What if they don’t care? How do I direct the conversation toward the objectives? How do I redirect if they get way off topic? How do I balance scripted design and freedom? How do I ensure I have the appropriate level of challenge in application?

    That being said, it’s hard to describe the relief and freedom I felt when I let go of the need have “the answer” to any question. When I opened up my design to learner-centric exploration, I took the seat next to leaders as we struggled to find meaning together. Instead of trying to bring all the value, I was finding the ability to discover value together. The shift was incredible and the results were immediate. Classroom participation and engagement increased and the class was truly and fully transformatively learning together – myself included!

    I would challenge you to explore Facilitative Learning if you aren’t already. The rewards are well worth the effort. Coming up on March 15th, Jason Weber is sharing his success with Facilitative Learning in a session called “Creating Engaging Facilitative Learning”. I would highly encourage you to attend. Looking back, there were so many common pitfalls I could have avoided if I had been able to attend a session like Jason’s. I hope to see you there! I’d love to connect and chat about your design journey as well.


    Erin is a Quality Improvement Advisor focused on developing organization-wide training and improvement solutions for UW Health. She holds a Master of Science in Adult and Continuing Education Leadership through the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in German Literature and Pedagogy from Calvin College. In addition, Erin is a certified trainer for Development Dimensions International and Crucial Conversations as well as a certified Life Coach for students with disabilities. Erin currently serves as the VP of Marketing for the ATD-MAC. 

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