Training in the 21st Century

Reflections on Colloquial “Bandwidth”: What Does It Mean for Us?

“I just don’t have the bandwidth to go to that meeting tonight,” I said to a friend/colleague at the end of another hectic week. After commiserating, my friend noted that the term “bandwidth” is being used a lot these days to describe our everyday condition. “A few years ago,” she said, “everyone talked about taking things ‘offline.’ Now, everyone talks about ‘bandwidth.’” What does the change in use of terms tell us about shifts in our thinking and concerns, and what do we really mean by “bandwidth”?

Thinking back, the phrase to “take it offline” became widely used at a time when we were realizing that electronic communications could not be counted on to remain private. E-mails could be accidentally, or purposely, forwarded to the wrong people. And with the onset of information overload, it was becoming clear that not every communication needed to be shared with everyone. For trainers, “let’s take that offline,” became a new way to respond to topics that threatened to sidetrack a workshop into subjects that were not relevant to the learning goals.

Today, I rarely use or hear “take it offline.” But I use and hear the term “bandwidth” often—it offers a pithy way to say a lot of things in one word. Continue reading →

The Importance of Being (Earnestly) Heard

Years ago, when I attended a 12-week course on Facilitation offered by Community at Work, I learned many valuable skills and techniques that I continue to use in both face-to-face and virtual meetings and training events. One of the most important and valuable insights I gained was something Community at Work’s founder, Sam Kaner, told us during the course, “It’s really hard for people to listen before they feel heard.” I came to realize how true, and how important, that statement was as I gained experience facilitating meetings for groups and teams whose members spent their time and energy trying to get their points across. And no one was listening. Continue reading →

Increase Your Effectiveness in Any Group

Guest Blogger: Sharon Mulgrew, http://sharonmulgrew.com/plays-well-with-others/

“Computer skills are expected on a resume; they are no longer a bonus; they are now considered necessary basic skills. However the skill of the future, the most sought after skill now, is the ability to work in a team, to work collaboratively, to play well others.”  (Kate Austin, Director of Simulation and Digital Entertainment Program at UB, 2006)

We sit through boring, frustrating or ‘resultless’ work meetings every day.

We think that nothing can be done. Yet there are actions that group members can take to make their meetings and collaborative work more focused, more fun, and more effective: There is a rhyme and reason to effective work groups, and the more members know and practice the behaviors that actually help any group perform, the better the experience is for all members. Continue reading →

Secrets to Successfully Introducing Change

As we transition from 2011 to 2012, we lay the groundwork that will help us realize our goals and triumph in our challenges during the new year.  Continuous improvement—learning from past experiences while scouting for new possibilities—gives us a solid stance from which to proceed. And with the fast pace of technological change, new opportunities for continuous improvement arise in varied and unexpected ways. But resistance from within our organizations can be one the biggest barriers we face in our efforts to make use of these opportunities.

Those whose work will benefit directly from the implementation of a new technology, a change to a process, or the introduction of new practices generally recognize the value of a proposed change quickly. But the value of the change may not be obvious to organization members whose work and responsibilities are not directly impacted by the change sought, and they may resist, impede, and even prevent the introduction of new ways of doing things.

One important way to gain the support and buy-in of people from all areas of an organization Continue reading →

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info@traininginthe21stcentury.com

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