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Archive for September, 2007

Why does training or anything done by the training department meet so much resistance or lacks the required acceptance?  All to often it’s because of a lack of change management throughout the process.  Consider some of the following change tools the next time,

  • Conduct a readiness assessment
  • Find a project champion who can make things happen
  • Involve all stakeholders in the planning and review
  • Build a business case first
  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis and review it at the beginning middle and end
  • Create a communications strategy including how you will post results

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I think the separation between hard skills and soft skills leads to employees that have a difficult time using both at the same time.  It’s easier to teach that way but harder to learn.  Teaching out to use a new piece of software without teaching how to integrate it with the job leads nowhere fast. 

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How much practice does it really take to learn something new?  In the class room, you learn how to make a sales call and then do a few role plays.  Is that enough practices?  In reality, it can take several hundred calls before you can get good at a new sales technique.  However, this is seldom part of the training plan.  You can really speed up training by finding out how many pratice repetitions are needed and then build them into the training.

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Are you good at games like scrabble, monopoly, poker or bridge?  How about golf or tennis? 

A lot of times we can get good at these games in comparrison to our friends and family.  Sometimes we might be the best in town.  However, when you start to play in the public arena or up at the next level, you quickly find that a lot of people are just as good and many a lot better.  In fact, they know a lot of things about the game than you never even thought about.

I remember going a scrabble tournament once.  Everyone in the room a two page cheat sheet with all the two letter words.  I didn’t even know what half those words meant.

So moving up in class and out into public is an extremely fast way to improve your game if you can get over the fact that others are better.  It’s moving from being the big fish in the small pond to the small fish in the big pond. 

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Book Update

I’ve started to get people to interview for my new book.  I’ve been trying to get highly successful people in a wide range of fields.  If you know anyone I can interview in these fields, please email me. 

  • Professional sports
  • Professional game players
  • Military
  • Politics
  • Firefighting
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • Law

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  One of the advantages of working in a call center is that it’s easy to measure and record just about anything.  In the better call centers they do a lot more coaching and use recorded calls in their coaching sessions.

The question that always comes up is how many calls or how frequently should you be doing call coaching?  The real answer is that you should be doing it a lot during training or when agents are learning something new and then less often or seldom when they have reached a high level of proficiency.  At that point, you’re moving away from coaching as a learning experience to monitoring for performance evaluation purposes. 

One of the major challenges in doing call monitoring is that you can go through a lot of calls before you find something that you want to work on.  There is such a wide range of calls that agents take you can spend hours before you hear a call that focuses on what you want to teach. 

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  Quality principles are usually applied to everything else in an organization than training.  That includes quality training.  It’s usually done the old fashion way.  So here’s one thought.  In a Kaizen event, one of the activities is to search out and eliminate waste or extra steps in a process.

What is the waste in training?  I’d start with everything that is taught that no one remembers the next day.  We know from most research that’s about 80% of lectures.  How about an example of extra steps?  Think of all the retraining or refresher training that happens because people are doing or following the first training.  Doing the training right and make sure you get the results you want before you stop can eliminate a lot of steps.

Does anyone else have an example?  Please leave a comment.

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