A jungle can be a beautiful thing. It’s filled with endless vegetation, colorful creatures, and discoveries hiding around every corner. With all this beauty comes the reality that it is a place of overgrown vegetation and dense forest – making it difficult to know where you are or where you are going.
A jungle is similar to the L&D landscape that so many teams experience today. The appeal to discover and take in all the wonder is there, but the best way to navigate through the different options is not always clear.
How do you offer the best training to your learners? What will make the biggest impact to your organization? What cutting-edge tools and innovative applications should your team be deploying to elevate the learner experience?
It’s an exciting adventure, yet can be overwhelming with so many training options and competing priorities. So, here’s a mini pocket guide to help you explore the possibilities.
3 Paths to Help You on Your Journey
With so many options, here are a few paths to help you get to your L&D goal:
The Path to Soft Skills Training
A requirement for any soft skills training is self-awareness. It’s an enabler to help learners master any popular soft skills like communication, leadership, or unconscious bias. Since you cannot really teach it, how to do you infuse it within your training?
Here are three tried-and-true prompts for nudging learners towards recognition:[i]
- Leverage assessments whenever possible
- Use both individual and group reflection
- Consider cognitive-task simulations
Learn more about how to inspire self-awareness in your learners from the blog Soft Skills and the Self-Awareness Paradox by Michael Noble, PhD.
The Path to Design Thinking
Design thinking can be a valuable tool for training and development professionals. It helps to identify challenges, gather information, and test different solutions. It is an agile way to create and test possible solutions based on the actual needs of the learner.
The five phases of design thinking in learning[ii]:
- Empathize – create a deep understanding of your learners
- Define – define your learners’ needs based on your understanding
- Ideate – create ideas for innovative solutions by challenging assumptions
- Prototype – create sample solutions quickly
- Test – get feedback on prototypes using small groups of users/learners
For more information on how to apply design thinking to create a more learner focused and innovative training, read the blog 21st Century Learning Trends and Innovations: Design Thinking by Dr. Carol Gravel.
The Path to People Management
Most learning leaders are faced with an increased business demand for learning, coupled with the complexity of solution design, development, and delivery. There is a tremendous opportunity for leaders to strategically assess and manage their existing talent portfolio – to create new opportunities and better support their team.
Consider these eight present directions in talent leadership[iii]:
- Agile Workforce
- Full-Time Placement
- Talent Expertise
- Customer Enablement
- Digital Staffing
- Changing ID Roles
- Hiring for Soft Skills
- Total Workforce Management
Get the additional details, in the blog From People Management to Talent Leadership: 8 Directions for Learning Leaders by Michael Noble, PhD.
We hope this better equips you on your L&D journey. Grab your toolkit and get ready to go – discovery is part of the fun! Together we’ll see how different training options make for a beautiful discovery both as a L&D professional and to our learners.
It’s an adventure and we do not know where different paths will lead us, so I hope you’ll share your experiences with us.