Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reflections From A National Seminar Leader


I wrote this several years ago and since it still holds true, I'm sharing it again:

I must say, sometimes it's just hard to get out of bed and know you've got to catch that flight - get to that next location, hoping you don't get stuck on a tarmac somewhere - in other words...traveling can be a pain in the butt.

Yet, when I get there, when I meet the folks across the U.S. that are in my classes, I am reminded of the hearts, spirits, and minds that desire to be feed (or even just need a break from their work environments for the day).

I've had the great privilege of conducting public seminars on a variety of topics across North America going on 13 years now! One of the unique opportunities it's given me is continually being able to keep my ear to the ground regarding what's going on in the day-to-day work-life of my attendees and people tend to be pretty open. I've heard some inspiring things and some crazy stuff as well.

I've observed some things that I think some of my fellow colleagues in the training and human resource industry might find useful that can help us all take it to the next level and reach more of our desired outcomes and here they are:

1. There are millions of dollars wasted on employee training every year for a variety of reasons and yet there is not enough money spent where needed (e.g. management training).

2. There is a lot of time wasted as well.  I have found that the specifics of what people need (or desire to learn that day) can be shared in many cases in a short period of time.

3. One of the most essential training platforms is barely leveraged and it's free!...and that is the everyday real-time work experience.

4. Many HR folks plates are overwhelmingly full!

5. There are "antiquated" philosophies and practices still being taught, originated during the "command and control" era of corporate leadership (e.g. like "counseling an employee" or discipline = I hate this word in dealing with employees sounds like parenting is a very dated approach).

6. Most people are good hearted and are trying their best.

7. The same perpetual problems exists: bully bosses, management incompetencies at every level, management training being seen as a cost instead of an investment, and a high tolerance for unhealthily behavior.

8. New challenges impacting business outcomes: in some places an under educated workforce, good and not so good advances in technology.

This list does not at all mean that I am discouraged about our country's business future.  I am hopeful (by nature) and I do think we need innovative and fresh approaches to a lot of things if we are all going to be happy, productive professionals.

As with anything, I always share in my workshop this piece of advice:  "When you assess a situation you can approach it from this line of thinking, "You have 3 elements to consider, what you have complete control over, what you can influence, and what you have no control over. Focus on the first 2."

I do deeply believe if we're going to accomplish that "happy, productive professional" state for all, one thing is absolutely true - each person must take complete responsibility for their competency and contribution.

Don't wait for your company to invest in that. If they do, consider yourself lucky. Don't let your employability be dependent on your employer. Do what you can to continually learn...continually build a meaningful, relevant knowledge base and turn that knowledge into know-how.

Here to help!
JoAnn
joann@thehumansphere.com