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Friday Snapshot: Highlights of Virtual Conference Sessions

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Fri Jun 05 2020

Friday Snapshot: Highlights of Virtual Conference Sessions
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The Association for Talent Development’s Virtual Conference offers 100 hours of on-demand content, and many of these sessions are eligible for certification and recertification points. Here are highlights of some of the sessions. To explore all on-demand content, visit virtualconference.td.org.

Knowing What Needs Changing to Change Behavior

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Track: Learning Sciences

Whether it’s a shift in our organizational priorities, transformation brought about by restructuring, or changing customer needs, all are behavior challenges that require the right approach to make behavior change happen. In the session “Unveiled: The 10 Best-Kept Secrets in Behavior Change,” Sebastian Bailey, co-founder and president of Mind Gym, presents principles and ways of thinking to help create the impetus for behavior change.

Bailey describes the first secret as “to capability and beyond.” To help behavior change happen, a trainer, leader, or manager must understand what needs to change. All too often, we jump to the conclusion that a training course is necessary because employees don’t have the knowledge. But behavior is about much more than knowledge or skill.

While it does involve the degree to which individuals have the physical and psychological ability to do something, it also involves the opportunity—that is, the social and physical environment needed to take action. Is this behavior expected in my team?

Are individuals motivated? This relates to the rational and emotional internal processes that activate or inhibit behavior, says Bailey, and it involves such things as goals and emotion.

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It is these facets—capability, opportunity, and motivation or COM-B barriers, as Bailey named them—that can be barriers to change. Determine what barrier is most prevalent and how to eliminate or reduce it. Decide which intervention is appropriate to do so, such as to persuade, educate, model, or incentivize.

Secret 2 is that everything works, but not everything works well. For example, feedback and job aids each may work to a certain degree, but depending on the behavior issue, they may not have a great affect.

Bailey also speaks about identity being a powerful element of behavior change, with the question being: “Am I the type of person who ….?” If, for example, you don’t see yourself as a nonsmoker, it’s going to be much harder to kick the habit.

Making Training Count

Track: Managing the Learning Function

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What is an impact map? What are the basics of mapping and their benefits? Those are the questions that Allan Bailey and Lynette Gillis, CEO and executive director, respectively, for the Centre for Learning Impact, address during “Business Impact Mapping: Aligning Learning to Business Outcomes.”

All too often, as many of us have heard, training doesn’t get applied to the job—it’s called scrap training, shares Bailey. That is due to the training not being aligned to the business needs.

You need to have a concise description of the results you hope to achieve from your training. An impact map covers the capabilities that will lead to changed job performance, which will make a change in organizational results.

Gillis, continuing the conversation, outlines the key steps to impact mapping, which begin with the design team creating a draft impact map outlining capabilities, job performance, and organizational results. The reason a team should create a draft, she says, is that often people do better when they have a draft to react to, a map to critique.

From there, have a mapping session with three to six key stakeholders. This group is likely to include someone from the L&D team, a champion of the initiative, and a manager.

Along the way of conducting an impact map, enablers and barriers to capability and job performance will naturally arise. For example, an enabler may be that training is offered during two different shifts to accommodate learners who work different times. A barrier may be that a regional office lacks well-trained facilitators.

The final steps to impact mapping include revising and building consensus on outcomes and alignment, distributing a second draft to a broader group of stakeholders, and updating the map when necessary to keep it current.

Tapping Into Introvert Power

Track: Training Delivery & Facilitation

Being an introvert does not automatically hinder your ability to be an effective trainer. That’s the point Beth Yoder, managing partner for Global Teams, makes in her session “The Introverted Trainer.” She shares ideas to help introverted trainers identify and leverage their strengths and best manage challenges associated with their personality type.

Shy, quiet, and studious may be some of the words that come to mind when individuals think of an introvert, and much of that is opinion. Yoder covers those credible and popular definitions of what an introvert is and isn’t and then invites listeners to decide where they fit on the personality spectrum.

She points out that there are four categories of characteristics: social, sensory, nervous, and energy. Yoder unpacks each of those categories, discusses examples of how introversion may show up in each area and provides strategies to trainers for ensuring they employ those traits for their best and highest use.

“The fact that we don’t like being the center of attention means we don’t need to be the center of attention,” Yoder offers as an example. “We are willing to give it to the participants, we create activities so that they are the center of attention.”

Introverts are often good at engaging participants, because it can take the attention off of themselves. Similarly, introverts typically ask questions and are great listeners—all of those traits can make for excellent trainers. In this session, Yoder helps introverted trainers discover their power.

Say No to Them, Say Yes to You

Track: Management

At some point in your career, you’re going to have to say no. Being a professional sometimes means disagreeing with group consensus, declining assignments, and drawing boundaries. For those sometimes high-stakes situations, Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, offers strategies and solutions in his session “How to Say No at Work Without Making Enemies.”

Grenny says situations in which our ability to say no is tested are a special type of crucial conversation. That’s because society is hardwired to interpret yes to mean affection, approval, and loyalty. Consequently, when we hear no, we interpret that monosyllabic utterance as rejection, reproof, and betrayal.

In his session, Grenny shares videos depicting situations that many may find oddly relatable. He then follows up with golden strategies, such as how to recognize the frame of the conversation and pivot to one that’s more favorable to you.

For personal and professional reasons, it’s important to be able to say no. And as Grenny puts it, “You define the contours of your character and the shape of your life by what you say no to.”

Next time you’re asked to do the impossible, use Grenny’s strategies to respectfully decline in a professional and powerful way.

Share your ATD Virtual Conference experience on social media. #ATDVirtualConference

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