>A Call to Arms

>I’m watching a YouTube video of Donald Clark delivering his keynote speech at the ALT conference this year (It’s an hour long). I want to pick a fight with Donald as I want to show him that there are some L&Ders out there who aren’t as bad as he makes out. Unfortunately in the main he’s right.

So I have to take issue and blog hoping a message gets delivered.
All you trainers out there – YOU ARE IN AN AGE OF CONSTANT LEARNING – THAT INCLUDES YOU.
What am I talking about here? The trainers who are sticking to their stock and trade and acting like the expert. Get off your high horse, pretentious, misguided sense of expertise and learn how to deal with human beings. There’s an excellent post I read last night (written by Joe Gerstandt and courtesy of the HRD) about how Diversity and Inclusivity professionals are still trying to deal with employees as resources and forgetting that we have learned so much about the human condition that we can engage with people in so many different ways, but we’re just not getting there.
The tone of this post is angry, and it’s ‘cos I am! Dammit I try so hard to raise the image of L&D and what the profession is capable of that I don’t want stock and traders to be ignorant to what they should be capable of helping organisations achieve.
So this is what it comes to. If you’re an L&Der and are either on the road to turning this into your profession, or indeed are claiming this is your profession, take a long hard look at your style of delivery. Are you facilitating? Truly are you? I would bet that I could observe any training session and within the first 5 minutes tell you whether or not the trainer will be a good facilitator. Arrogance? Damn straight it is. I have stupidly high expectations of what excellent training looks like and I will not stand for anything else, least of all from myself.
Want to step up to the mark? Make sure you get involved with the likes of Roffey Park or Ashridge Business School. Those are the Oxbridge of L&D professionals. To be truly excellent in our profession, any L&Der who is worth their salt should attend a workshop or training session or learning event with either of those companies.
Sorry but I don’t buy Reed Learning or Hemsley Fraser as being that good. They’re good for certain things, but they will not cater for a holistic approach to L&D development.
I won’t go into what a facilitator should be doing within a training session, but if you have doubts of what I’m talking about, or don’t agree with my assertion then I’ll also bet that you’re not being as effective a facilitator as you think you are. As an example though, when I deliver sessions, about 50% of what I talk about is the actual content of the session, the other 50% is normally me connecting and forming relationships that enable change.
This is a call to arms. Calling all L&Ders. Forget your own sense of importance and step up to the mark. Show the businesses and organisations you work with or for what excellent training looks like. Make sure you are constantly learning. Make sure you get critical and direct feedback about your delivery style. Make sure you leave your delegates with no doubt that you have given them the tools to be successful. Make sure you provide world class learning solutions that are engaging and evocative.
I’ll lead from the front. Any of you I ever come into contact with from this point forward, if I’m not upholding this call to arms, then shoot me down.
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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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