November 2007

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Global Network Czech Republic

The Future of Learning: Making Sense of Learning Innovations with Lucie Melicharova

ASTD Club Evenings were created to give HR professionals, trainers, and those in learning and development fields a forum to discuss current issues, share best practices and learn from one another.

This next workshop, The Future of Learning, looks at how to develop people in a world where knowledge is easily accessible and widely distributed.

  • The future of learning is increasingly “do-it-yourself.”
  • Learning trends overview: Do all learning innovations make sense?
  • Trainers are becoming facilitators and coaches – They do not always have the right answer.
  • Tips for learning facilitators.

All programs are in English.

For more information, please contact Katka Benesova: katka.benesova@cz.accaglobal.com

Leading by Speaking: Become the speaker and leader you want to be!

Give Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.cz) a chance and improve your communication and leadership skills! Bohemian Toastmasters is an offshoot of Toastmasters in Prague. It provides a flexible schedule and plenty of opportunity to sharpen your public speaking skills.

For more information, please visit http://www.bohemiantoastmasters.org/.

November 14 ASTD Club Evening: The Future of Learning
November 15 Power Lunch: Authentic Communication
November 23 to 25 Toastmasters Conference in Vienna (www.conference.district59.org)
December 4 Power Lunch: Creative Decision Making

Coaching Tip of the Month: The Flip Side of Winning

Peter was a successful businessman and took pride in practicing an open door policy with his staff. Throughout his career, he had always encouraged people to express their opinions openly and share their ideas with him. Yet despite his efforts, he would always learn about their new ideas from people outside of his team. Frustrated by this apparent lack of trust, he wondered why the atmosphere of open communication that he tried to foster was not working.

Eventually Peter mentioned the problem to me.

“When was the last time one of your employees came to you with an idea?” I asked.

He took a few minutes to think before replying. “Last week. My sales director came to me with a brilliant suggestion on how to improve customer service”

“And what did you do about it? Please try to answer as accurately as possible,” I said . “It is important that you remember exactly what you told him.”

Peter took another minute to think before saying “I told him that his idea was wonderful, but if I were him, I would do it another way.”

The answer revealed the root of the problem.

While trying to improve on the original suggestion, Peter had unknowingly taken ownership of the idea away from his sales director. His attempt to add value had backfired. Instead of supporting a creative and innovative idea, he had actually removed much of the motivation his sales director had in proposing the idea.

Peter’s desire to win had helped him become successful in business. Yet, Peter always wanted to win, even if it wasn’t worth his time or if it was to his disadvantage.

What he didn’t realize was that the higher he climbed up the corporate ladder, the more he needed to turn other people into winners and give them responsibility for their ideas. As a result, few people on his staff were willing to share their ideas with him.

I suggested that he needed to focus on listening rather than just responding immediately or offering his own ideas. An easy way to do this is to take a deep breath and to count to five before speaking.

After Peter got into this habit, he realized that about half of what he wanted to say wasn’t actually worth saying. He gradually began to understand how much could be gained by simply letting his employees maintain ownership of an idea and its success.

Gradually, Peter’s relationship with his staff improved. Not only was he asking for their help in finding solutions to his problems, but he was also listening to their reply.