People aren’t picking up new skills fast enough? It might be your fault.

People aren’t picking up new skills fast enough? It might be your fault. Six questions to ask yourself

Today, I wanted to repress a blog from Blanchard LeaderChat. This is one of my favorite leadership blogs and the folks at Blanchard know their stuff. It resonates with me. I encourage you to follow them on Twitter at @LeaderChat or visit to connect to their blog, newsletter or RSS feed.

Read this Blog – People aren’t picking up new skills fast enough? It might be your fault. Six questions to ask yourself. by David Witt, July 25, 2011 via Blanchard LeaderChat

Extract of blog – See if you you’ve covered these six basics to maximize learning and application.

  1. Energize learners.  Set the context for learning before anyone steps into the classroom.  What can people do to get up-to-speed on this subject?  What can they read, or who can they talk with, to become as excited about this topic as you are?
  2. Navigating the content.  Is the presentation learner friendly? Have you put together a good structure that includes breaking the content down into bite-sized chunks that people can easily digest?  Or have you designed this as a lecture type presentation where you will be doing all the talking and it will be a challenge just getting through the content—let alone actually retaining anything?
  3. Generate meaning.  Have you connected the dots so people see why learning this new content is important?  People need to see why they should take the time to invest in learning new skills.  Your job as a leader is to provide that meaning.
  4. Apply the learning.  What does this new skill look like in the real world?  Have you included some opportunities to practice the real life application of this new skill—or is that something you are leaving up to individual learners to figure out for themselves?
  5. Gauge and celebrate.  How will you measure if people are really doing something different with the content?  Don’t be vague on this point.  What is the business metric you are looking to impact?  ROI is something you need address at the beginning of a new initiative—not after the fact.
  6. Extend the learning.  How will you keep the initiative alive beyond the initial rollout?  New habits take time to develop and a lot of support in the early days.  What is your follow-up plan?  How will you ensure that skills learned in the classroom are applied back on the job?

So often, leaders get frustrated with their teams if they do not immediately pick up on new skills. Maybe it’s YOUR fault. What do you think?

In relationship,


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