Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2018 - 13
JULIE WINKLE GIULIONI
CAN NO LONGER BE
Considerable time, energy and budget
are invested in designing cuttingedge learning. Sophisticated followup mechanisms are developed and
implemented. Progress is meticulously
monitored and results are measured.
All the pieces are in place...then too
frequently, we blow it. We half-heartedly
compose and send off a lackluster
"welcome to the class" email, setting the
tone for less-than-stellar results.
What happens before the learning event
is also an opportunity deserving of
attention. And when this happens in a
more deliberate way, individuals are able
to personalize the experiences to their
unique needs and gain considerably more
value in the process.
Learning professionals who want to make
the most of the precious time leading up
to a learning initiative might consider
these three key practices.
MAKE THE INVITATION MEMORABLE
First impressions matter - in relationships
and in the way we introduce learning
opportunities. A traditional, boring, textheavy invitation sets a tone. Participants
form expectations, about what the
training will be like based upon that
introduction. So, make sure you're leaving
a first impression that's memorable and
motivating. Have you considered:
Sending a customized 3-D pop-up
card that introduces the topic in a
Giving "voice" to your invitation
by producing a podcast-style
PRIME THE LEARNING PUMP
The time between when participants make
the decision to engage in learning and
when it begins is particularly important. It's
a period that should be mined for as much
pre-learning as possible. Presumably a skill
or knowledge gap has been identified.
A need exists and, as a result, motivation
levels may be elevated.
How frequently have you started a
workshop by asking participants to share
their expectations? It's a great interactive
opening, but the problem with expectations
like these is that they tend to put the onus
on the facilitator to somehow meet them.
In contrast, thoughtful personal intentionsetting in advance allows participants to
take responsibility for and become active
partners in their learning.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE
Take advantage of this learning limbo by
engaging participants with the content.
Offer them appetizing opportunities
to prepare and immerse themselves
in the content. This is not your father's
pre-work - the old-school worksheet
packets that frequently felt like a busy
work burden. Rather, it's provocative
articles, short videos and teasers that
aren't required, but that are interesting
and relevant enough to keep people
clicking and mentally preparing for a
richer learning experience.
This pre-learning time is also an excellent
opportunity to build a sense of community
as well as user-generated content.
Inviting participants to share resources,
articles, tools and perspectives about the
topic in advance accomplishes multiple
objectives. It supports networking and
sends a strong message about the active
role they'll be expected to play in their
learning. It informs the facilitator/designer
about the current level of awareness and
knowledge. And it allows participants to
consider the content in advance, elevating
the quality of the actual experience.
So, invite participants to consider what
they'll be using and to set intentions,
offering questions to ask themselves like:
Where in my life might I be able to use
What problems might I avoid if I get
better at this?
If I improved in this area, what results
First impressions are lasting impressions.
When it comes to L&D efforts, what
happens (or doesn't happen) in advance
of training dramatically affects everything
that follows. So, let's stop making it an
afterthought. Because investing a little
creativity and effort before is one of
the simplest way to make the most of
your carefully crafted content, design,
facilitation and follow up.
Julie Winkle Giulioni has 25 years of
experience working with organizations
worldwide to improve performance through
learning. Named one of Inc. Magazines
top 100 leadership speakers, Julie is the coauthor of the bestseller, "Help Them Grow or
Watch Them Go." Email Julie.
T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - ADAPTING LEARNING 2018 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2018