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Archive for the ‘Human Resources’ Category

We’ve been playing around with a new look for the LPI website.  We’re also thinking about adding some webinars on some Learning Paths related topics such as applying quality tools to the learning process, using Learning Paths in strategic planning and using Learning Paths to facilitate mergers and acquistions.  Take a look and send me any suggestions.  Learningpathsinternational.com

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I’ve decide to draft out my new book on my blog.  The book is about how to you can shorten your own learning time as a student or shorten the learning curve for others if your a teacher, trainer or instructional designer.  I’m going to write this for everyone who is involved in any kind of learning. 

As a starting point, we’re going to assume that there are tremendous benefits in being able to learn faster.  This doesn’t mean taking short cuts or skipping things.  It means that if you have a choice of learning exactly the same thing to the same level of competence, you would almost always choice the one that gets you there faster. 

If you think that learning needs to be like fine wine that needs to be savoired, this book is not for you.  However, if you’re someone who thinks that the faster you learn, the more you have time to learn, you’re going to see some interesting thoughts and techniques.

I’m going to start the next post out with idea #1 and continue until I get to #101.  When I finally write the book, I’ll add more content and arrange the ideas into a logical sequence.  I’ll also take into account the feedback in the comments area.

copyright LPI 2008, all rights reserved

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Uploaded by criscollrj

This picture has nothing to do with the topic but misery loves company. 

Anyway, a lot of emphasis is placed on soft skills training.  Sometimes referred to as people skills or non-technical skills.  This includes things like, listening, presentations, team building, sales, etc.  All good skills to have.

The problem is that they take a long time and a lot of practice to master.  If you go to a presentations course, you learn about how to make effective presentations and if you’re lucky you get to practice one or two times.

People who make presentations for a living tell me it takes about 200 times through to really make a great presentation.  So without that extensive practice what tends to happen is that people think they’ve developed the skills but really haven’t. 

Can you learn to be a good listener in 30 minutes?  That’s part of a lot of curriculums.  I think it might take a little more practice.

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Uploaded by jac.opo

There are lots of ways to speed up the learning process…and what I mean by speed up the process is that you get the same or better result in less time.  Here are some of my favorites.

  1. Eliminate the Waste – Waste in education and training is anything that is taught one day and forgotten the next.  If it’s still something that’s really important, than you have to find a different way to teach it.
  2. Focus on Speed – This may seem odd as a suggestion but the longer it takes to learn something the harder it is to keep the learner motivated.  Looking for ways to increase speed actually will increase speed.
  3. Blend Hard and Soft Skills – the slow way is to teach hard skills and then soft skills and then try to meld them together.  It’s really hard to make good connections this way.  Instead teach how to do different tasks and skills that require using both hard and soft skills.
  4. Teach in short segments – People tend to remember the first and last parts of any lesson.  With short segments, you have more firsts and lasts.
  5. Don’t Talk so Much – Often the more your talk the less learning is happening.  Others often have to say the words to learn something and they can’t do that when you’re talking.

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Uploaded by sctag1015

I seem to get new submissions every week.  Thanks to those who contribute.

  1. Tiffany Colter presents Writing Career Coach: How I got here: Part 3 posted at Writing Career Coach.
    Enjoy!
  2. James D. Brausch presents Failure? The Doorway to Success posted at Internet Business Blog.
  3. Wayne Buckhanan presents How to “Win” in Life posted at Life, Love, & Learning.
  4. James D. Brausch presents Cruise For Success? posted at Internet Business Blog.

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I’ve written a lot about the downsides of sink or swim learning.  However, I came across this video and I found it mesmerizing.  Enjoy!

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Uploaded by Heroes 4 Hire

I’ve sat in dozens of discussions with different companies over a basic question about new hires.  Should we look for experience or hire someone out of college?  This is actually not an easy question to answer because both choices have strong pluses and minuses.

Let’s start by looking at hiring someone with a lot of experience.  What you get is someone who can start being productive early and may need very little new training.  For companies that don’t have the time and patients to develop someone new this looks like a good option.  However, since they are ready to go, you will end up paying more for them.  You just have to determine if they are worth the extra money.  In addition to all the good traits, they will also bring in all the bad habits they’ve learned in past jobs.  You have to determine if this is okay and/or can you retrain these people.

New college graduates are more of a blank sheet.  They don’t have some of the bad habits because they haven’t done anything yet.  However, they may come with the biases of their teachers.  It does cost less to get an unexperienced person but you will have to invest in a lot of training.  In addition, it may take a very long time before they are productive. 

In the end result, this is a partly a financial decision.  Where do you want to spend your money?  Where will you get the fastest return? 

It’s also a cultural and team issue.  Who is going to fit in with the team?  Who can work in the existing culture?

I’ve seen both methods work very well and I’ve seen both methods work miserably.  I think it’s a matter of knowing what you’re really buying and being prepared for getting these new hires up-to-speed.

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