Update Your Training Techniques

It hasn’t worked for the last three guys but this new employee seems different, I’ll give it one more try.  Are you a supervisor who works with this paradigm?  Too many of us to do.  We try the same old, tired techniques and wonder why they don’t work.

Try taking some time to develop some new processes.  Give yourself 20 minutes and do a Google search on the topic that’s frustrating you.  There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of web sites that can inspire you to try a new technique.  The Internet is one of my best friends.

This morning I had a client ask about some of their proprietary training material and how I thought it would work in an international environment.  It won’t!  The material is dated, it has a North American bias, and, quite frankly, it’s incredibly boring.  A couple years ago I had to deliver this material on behalf of the client and I very quickly realized if I was going to keep my international participants awake, let alone interested, I have to customize the material.  It took a lot more work on my part but at the end of the three-day session I could look in the mirror and say I did a good job.

So, look at your tried and true methods and see if they really do work.  Is it time you took the time to do a little research and find a new paradigm?  If you’re anything like most of the supervisors I deal with, the answer is yes. Do a little inventory and be honest about what’s truly working in your training program. Get rid of the elements that aren’t working. That new employee will love you for it.

Everyone’s quick to blame the alien.

Why is it we have so much trouble with the concept of rewards and recognition? I just finished facilitating the second day of a three-day program with a group of supervisors. We’re pursuing the concept of developing a rewards and recognition process in their company. The whole idea of recording positive activity on the part of employees seems to be foreign. The negative, we can record that real well.

This isn’t the first time I’ve worked with a group of supervisors who had trouble with the concept of recording the positive in their work situation. Several years ago I had a group stop the session before it started with the statement, “We can’t do that here.” My reaction was a very intelligent, “Pardon?” “We can’t do that here”, and then they proceeded to tell me a horror story about a place that was so negative. It made me wonder why anybody would want to work there every day.

Since that time I’ve paid close attention to all my clients and their companies to try and discover why we have to dwell on the negative. Is it really just human nature or is it the society we live in? Well, the negative concept isn’t new. Over 2000 years ago Greek Playwright, Asechylus, said, “Everyone’s quick to blame the alien”, and it seems we’ve been doing it ever since.

Do you blame someone else for all the troubles at work? Do you find it difficult to, as Ken Blanchard says, “catch people doing something right”? I hope not.

From my perspective the very first step in developing a worthwhile rewards and recognition program is to, personally, learn how to say thank you. Think about it. When someone compliments you do you say, “thank you”, and leave it at that or do you say something like, “oh, it’s nothing, don’t worry about”. Too many of us who don’t know how to accept recognition so, consequently, we don’t know how to recognize the positive in other people.

How well do you accept recognition for your positive work?

2007 and commitment

It’s a gorgeous New Year’s day in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Lots of bright sunshine and mild temperatures, for a winter climate. This past week I’ve spent much time putting my 2007 plan in place and setting up the processes so the plan will work. I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions!

Leaders move forward with plans, not resolutions. The plans work when the processes are put in place. The plans also work when they are shared and checked with those who will help make them work. I’m an entrepreneur so much of my work is done on my own; however, I’ve learned that I do my best work when I connect with those who can give me positive but constructive feedback.

 How are you set for 2007? Are your plans and processes working with you? I hope so.

Maybe I’ll see you this year in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, London, Dubai, Phoenix or San Diego. Have a great 2007. We can share our progress on completing our plans and achieving our goals.