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In Order for Corporate Training to Improve, L&D Practitioners Need to Lose their Snobbery

On a scale from 1-10, how much do you love to be informed that you’re doing something wrong by a cocky, snide, snarky, arrogant know-it-all?

Training Snobbery 1

There is so much work to be done when it comes to helping our colleagues and clients to improve their presentation skills. Over the past 15 years as I’ve worked in the learning and development space, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that we need to meet people where they’re at.

Some people will be ready to jump right in, assessing the needs of their learners, organizing their thoughts with a presentation plan, then selecting the most appropriate visual aids (maybe PowerPoint, maybe something else), practicing their delivery and finally executing an amazing learning experience.

Some decision-makers will identify technology as the best solution to deliver differentiated, on-demand learning experiences.

Most people will need to be eased into this process. Here is a reflection that was written last year by one of my colleagues who truly evolved from SME to engaging presenter.

I’m not a heavy Twitter user, but I do follow several of the “big names” in the learning and development field. It always makes me uncomfortable when I read a tweet like this:

Training Snobbery

Why do we need to be snarky when it comes to trying to describe the motivations and mind-set of non-learning and development professionals? This particular message was tweeted during a recent elearning industry conference. The problem is that the question (why do people want classroom training?) was being asked to a room of learning and development professionals whose livelihoods revolve around technology and elearning.

If we want a non-snarky, sincere answer and true insights into the mindset of the people who actually approve and schedule classroom-based training, then we shouldn’t be asking ourselves why people might want classroom training. We need to spend time asking and understanding line managers, HR professionals and executives who request training sessions.

What are you doing to get a better understanding of the mindset of SMEs and others who deliver presentations and training in order to truly help them succeed? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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