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March 2013
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TD Magazine

Facilitating Learning for Life

As a skilled facilitator, Taihyun Park uses effective questioning, communication, and team building for individual and organization transformation.

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Taihyun Park is a human resources development (HRD) and organization development expert in Korea. He has broad experience as a facilitator, and in 2005 won the Future Management Institute's Best Facilitator award. Park is currently creating and facilitating SK Planet's Team Learning and Performance programs. He has authored a variety of articles and six books, including Work as a Team in 2012.

How did you break into the training and development profession?

I majored in education in college, and then served in the military for two years as a lieutenant in charge of troop information and education. I was not given the opportunity to get involved in another career field until after I was discharged from military service. At that time, I thought the best path that I could follow was in an area with which I was familiar—HRD.

What skills are required for successful facilitation?

It is important to help participants find a satisfactory solution to challenges by implementing their own strengths and abilities. To do so, a facilitator must have two skills. First, he must possess the patience to wait for participants to reach a solution on their own.

Also, the facilitator must be able to read the various environments of his classes, and lead participants accordingly. This is especially crucial when the facilitator is met with a less energetic crowd, in which case he must effectively transform the classroom atmosphere.

What about the training and development profession is most engaging for you?

I am left with the greatest sense of accomplishment after I have created content that successfully aids in the beneficial transformation of a person, or even an entire organization.

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Questions comprise the most important facet of creating such content—the process of finding the answers to really valuable questions leads to content development. It is this process of content creation and achievement that also helps me to realize that I am undergoing personal development.

How will team building and communication change in the workplace during the next 10 years?

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Traditionally, a team was defined as a small group of people who share the same objective. However, the meaning of a team will continue to evolve because today cooperation is becoming increasingly more important than competition. Teams that have competed against each other in the past are working together now.

As this shift from competition to cooperation emerges, communication will become key. Our society is currently experiencing an explosive surge in communication resources with the development of social networking services. However, there is a high probability that these services can act as a deterrent to communication.

The heart of communication lies in the exchange between subjective minds, not in the exchange of objective content. The exchange of mere content will grow to become more frivolous to people, while the exchange of thoughts will become progressively more important in our society.

To whom do you look for professional guidance and inspiration?

I listen intently to the thoughts and opinions of my most fastidious clients and stakeholders. I have come to realize that it is the people who are most critical of my work who also are the most beneficial in helping me to come up with new ideas.

What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned from your career journey?

I must never stop learning, and I must never be afraid to experience new things. There is a saying that the people who teach creativity are the least creative. I have learned that this also can be said about HRD. That is why I feel that because I am in the learning field, I must be better at learning than anyone else.

Also, I have learned that trust is important, and that I must stay current in the field to be accountable for the things that I implement.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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