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Other Valuable Mindsets

Growth mindset isn’t magic. Dang. Well, if it can’t solve all our problems, then what else do we need?

A Mindset of Optimism

Boon:

Believing that things will work out insulates you from The Nag. You know The Nag. It’s that voice inside you that tells you to stop, give up and watch television. Optimism trains you to see success as possible – the perfect antidote to a voice that says it’s impossible. Plus, it feels great to know that you are awesome now and will be better later.

Curse:

Of course, optimism makes you stupid. Too much will make you leap from buildings or attempt surgery. A realistic appraisal is valuable, even if it doesn’t feel as nice. How do you know whether optimism is pushing you to grow, or driving you to disaster?

Strategy:

Here’s a trick I picked up. It involves cycling through optimism and pessimism to get the benefits of each:

  • Unleash your optimism. Think of something awesome you want to do. Don’t let reality get in the way – if you could do anything, what would you pick?
  • Inject some pessimism. What are five things that could go wrong with this idea?
  • Bring back the optimism. What are two or three strategies to offset each risk above?

That leaves you with a pretty good idea on if this idea is feasible. Not only that, it gives you a plan on how to proceed.

A Mindset of Gratitude

Boon:

Again, it feels great. And it kills The Nag dead. The Nag likes to moan and complain. Being grateful boosts your mind and body by focusing on resources, not threats.

Curse:

If optimism makes you stupid, gratitude makes you lazy. Hate your job? Well, maybe you should be grateful instead. After all, there are people with no job at all, ever think of that? So, no, there’s no need to look for a new one. Or change in any way. Be happy with what you have.

Strategy:

Gratitude is about celebrating abundance. If something is robbing you, don’t celebrate it. Every moment and everything has something small to be grateful about, but that doesn’t mean that every aspect of it is good. A job brings money and dignity, and you can appreciate that. But if a job leaves you stressed and miserable, seek to change that. And be grateful that you have the ability to notice when things suck and to change some of them.

A Mindset of Service

Boon:

The idea that you live to serve others is a strong one. This is not the mindset of a slave, as you choose who you serve and how. What it does is it trains you to notice opportunities to help others. Helping others feels good and can be financially rewarding.

Curse:

Take this too far and you will burn out. Not to mention that people may take advantage of you.

Strategy:

  • You can only serve when you also serve yourself. Keep yourself fresh and healthy. Wrecking your physical and mental health helps no one.
  • The world is a crowded place. More people would appreciate your help than you can get to in a lifetime. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate your efforts or tries to take advantage should be cut away. Be ruthless, as you are working towards a higher cause.

A Mindset of Mindfulness

Boon:

Being mindful has enormous benefits, from reducing stress to slowing down time. (Also: it feels great).

Curse:

Some Buddhists complain about the way the West treats mindfulness. In Buddhism, it is a core part of your existence. In the West, it is a commodity. You pay for a class or vacation, do some mindful thinking, and then go back to your daily grind.

Strategy:

Mindfulness is a mindset, not a hobby. It is something you do several times a day, until you start doing it most of the time.

  • Set a reminder. You could use a post-it note, a timed popup on your computer or a scribble on the back of your hand.
  • When you notice your reminder, pay attention to your next breath. Keep a gentle focus as you breathe in, then breathe out. At first, one breath is enough, though you can build that up in time.

I’m curious – what have I missed? Got any good mindsets you like to keep in your back pocket?


This post is part of Mindset Month at Mindwalker Training.

The Ins and Outs of Growth Mindset

So, here’s a thing that happens:

Something becomes trendy, for better or worse. People start saying it’s the best thing since sliced whatever. It gathers attention. Some of that attention turns critical.

This is natural and good, of course. Popular ideas are worth exploring. Sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes the trendy stuff is bad. Thank goodness that there are people that investigate what others blindly accept.

But not all Devil’s advocates are virtuous. You can usually spot the pretenders. Their writing reeks of insincerity. They write ‘Trendy Thing is Bad’ on a scrap of paper, then start wracking their brains for reasons why. It’s a cry for attention (or clickviews) and it shows. Nothing is clumsier than a forced opinion.

Which of course brings me to Salon. Why am I about to link to a two-year-old article? Well, because people still use these arguments. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, read this article where Carol Dweck, champion of the growth mindset movement, talks about a false growth mindset. It’s safe to assume that Dweck thinks growth mindsets are great. Even so, she has seen it misused:

  • Praising effort alone. Results still matter; pointless effort is still pointless.
  • Telling students ‘You Can Do Anything’ if and only if you try more. A growth mindset supports success – it is not the sole cause of it.
  • Blaming the student’s mindset. Ditto.

So, like all tools, encouraging a growth mindset only works if you aren’t an idiot about it. Believing that you can grow is not a substitute for hard work, luck and talent – if you think that it is, you are wrong. It is not something that Dweck, or any other serious advocate for the growth mindset, has ever claimed.

Keep that in mind as you (re)read Salon’s article criticising growth mindset.

If growth mindset is misused, it’s bad. Great. If I drive a hammer into my eyeball, that’s pretty bad too. And you know what that says about the value of a hammer? Absolutely nothing. The article doesn’t say that growth mindsets don’t work, only that false ones are bad.

Well, duh. Hardly warrants the headline.

That’s not to say that the idea is beyond criticism. Like I said, some people investigate the trendy to expose truths and falsehoods. Here is one example of that. Notice that, despite strong biases, it is less biased than the Salon article. Anyway, there’s a lot to unpack about this post (read Part V if you’re short on time). The point is that there’s the right way and the wrong way to argue against something.

So, what’s my takeaway from this? Firstly, it’s always helpful to read the criticisms of any idea. It’s easy to get carried away. Popular ideas will attract quality criticism. Even clumsy criticisms, if read with a proper outlook, can temper the more extreme claims.

Secondly, a growth mindset helps. Believing that you can improve with effort is true and useful. But effort and outlook are not the only variables… and acting like they are is dangerous. This makes it hard – if people are holding themselves back because they have fixed beliefs, then a growth mindset is the best thing for them. If they already have this mindset or are putting in a lot of effort, then saying they need more growth mindset is the wrong approach.

I taught myself some basic chess strategies. To test myself, I’d play against my phone. I got better, then I plateaued. I believed that I could get better and I was putting in the effort. Even so, I was stuck. Smarter effort, like learning better strategies, would have lifted my game more than trying harder. This should not be surprising to anyone.

Life is complicated. Who would have thought? A better question: what can we do about it?

  • Record your results. Quantify them if possible; if not, be as specific as you can. It’s amazing how often I felt like I was plateauing while I was steadily improving.
  • Check your internal dialogue. If you find yourself using fixed descriptors, whether positive or negative, it might be worth readjusting.
  • Notice your reaction to failure. If you flinch away from your failures, I understand. But your failures are a bitter pill that’s worth swallowing. If you think your abilities are fixed, then failures expose your limits. If you can grow your abilities, then failures expose opportunities to do so.
  • Accept that, sometimes, more effort and a better attitude aren’t enough. Necessary, sure, but not sufficient.

There. A pretty balanced approach, don’t you think?


This post is part of Mindset Month at Mindwalker Training.

The Power of Mindset

If your brain is like a computer, then what’s its software?

Skills you learn could be like applications. Each skill – like each application – allows you to achieve a task, whether that’s designing something or playing a game. But applications don’t, and can’t, exist in isolation. They need something to draw them all together, to run under them, that gives them structure. What’s the brain’s version of an operating system?

Mindset is one answer to the question.

What is mindset? It’s a frame through which you view the world. A person with a negative mindset sees misery, threats and reasons to complain. A person with a positive mindset can look at the same things and see beauty, safety and opportunity.

It makes a difference. We all know people that struggle and stress their way through life. They always complain about the injustices of (their) life. Bad luck plagues them. We also know people that seem to sail through life, moving with grace from one success to another. These people are rarely stressed and often happy.

You can learn skills to reduce stress. And they help, absolutely. But the best applications can only do so much with a corrupted operating system. Things run smoother when both your skills and mindset are strong and healthy.

There are many mindsets, good and bad. The most famous is a growth mindset. This is the opposite of the fixed mindset, which is still so common. Fixed mindsets assume that your attributes are ingrained. You have a natural level of ability with, say, music, and training brings you to these limits. Your strength and intelligence depends on inflexible factors like genetics.

I reject this view. The brain is plastic. It can change and it does change, all the time. Learning involves rewiring your neural networks… so how could your thinking have limits? Of course, some people find certain changes easier than others do. We’re not identical. But we are all able to grow and improve.

After all, did you know you can learn to be more creative? It’s true. The old idea that some people are creative and others aren’t is wrong. There’s no gene for it. Creative people practice their skills and think in certain ways… and who among us can’t do the same?

This is why I’m talking about mindset. It’s important. With good habits and a healthy brain, you can do a lot in life. With a bad mindset, though, you won’t. Whether you can or can’t, you will not. Trivial obstacles will defeat you, sooner or later.

But you can learn new mindsets. The best proof for the growth mindset is that anyone can learn it. If you can learn to see obstacles as opportunities, intelligence as learnable and your mind as flexible, then these things become true. A growth mindset enables a growth mindset, for it is something that you have to develop for yourself.


This post is part of Mindset Month at Mindwalker Training.

On Brain Health

Do you know how to have a smarter, healthier brain?

“I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it…”

Well, think about it now. Any ideas? What makes your brain work well?

“Getting enough sleep, for one.”

Right. Anything else?

“I suppose eating properly…”

Right. Anything else?

“Oh. I’ve heard that exercise is good for the brain.”

Right. Anything else?

“Um… oh! Puzzles, games, activities, those sorts of things.”

What sort of puzzles?

“Oh, you know. Sudoku. Crosswords.”

Do they exercise your brain?

“Sure. I mean, they feel challenging.”

Absolutely. But do they exercise the brain enough?

“I would think so…”

What if I told you that, even if those puzzles feel like you’re working out your brain, it barely helps?

“That’d surprise me. Are you saying that puzzles don’t strengthen the brain?”

Oh, they do. They have to be the right puzzles, that’s all.

“The right puzzles?”

Yep. Part of it is that learning how to solve a puzzle is the real exercise. The first few times you play a Sudoku, (or your first run through of Portal,) you are learning new ways of thinking. This is good for the brain. Once you have mastered the skill, though, the benefit wears off.

“Huh. So solving a Sudoku, once you know how, isn’t a challenge anymore. Are there any puzzles that strengthen your brain even after you learn the process?”

Yep. But you probably wouldn’t call these ‘puzzles’…

“Go on.”

Social interactions. Navigating a new city (without GPS). Walking on cobblestones.

“… cobblestones?”

Yeah. Walking on unpredictable terrain forces your brain to make predictions, maintain balance, engage different muscles…

“Right… but you can’t say that walking down the street is harder than solving a crossword.”

Not harder, no, but it does exercise the right parts of your brain. At least, this is according to Dr Michael Merzenich. He talks about it in his book, Soft-wired. These are challenges that our ancestors faced every day, yet modern humans rarely face. We are overtaxing the wrong parts of the brain and underusing the right parts.

“Huh, sounds plausible. If that’s true, then what can we do?”

Exercise balance and navigation skills every day. If that isn’t enough, try BrainHQ. Merzenich recommends it, which he would, seeing as it’s his company. Then again, the site has a lot more (and better) science supporting its claims than other brain training systems.

“Interesting. Does it work?”

Honestly, no idea. But I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think it did…


This post is part of Brain Month at Mindwalker Training.

Wait… it’s already March?

There’s a social contract I’m about to violate. Like all social contracts, there’s a set of ‘suitable’ responses to this question. I’m going to throw these responses to the four winds, at great peril to my social standing.

For example, if someone says “how are you?” chances are it isn’t a question. I mean, it might be. But it’s usually a greeting, not a request for information. The social contract says that you reply with a short, positive answer, then return the question:

“I’m good, thanks. How are you?”

The social contract I’m violating is similar. It’s not as obvious that this is like the above example. I mean, these things aren’t written down anywhere – that would be too easy. But it seems to be less about exchanging information and more about deepening the relationship. And that question/statement is:

“Geez, can you believe it’s already March?”

To which the suitable reply is something like:

“Haha, yeah, this year is flying by.”

Except I can’t answer like that. Not honestly, anyway. Continue reading Wait… it’s already March?

The Unconscious Body

The unconscious mind is an interesting thing. I’ve been thinking about it, and learning about it, lately. What I find interesting is how much power the unconscious has over the conscious. In a way, it’s as if there’s a distinction between “you” and “your brain”. You’ve experienced this. Everyone can think of a time from today where your brain did something you didn’t want it to. Maybe you felt anger over a trivial annoyance. Maybe you succumbed to a junk food craving.

Or maybe you felt like exercising, so you did.

Emotions, desires, cognitive biases, habits. So influential over our decisions; all unconscious thoughts.

There is a lot I could say about this. And, someday, I will. But today I’ll keep it to one topic:

Have you ever thought you learned something… only to find you haven’t?

Of course you have. If you’re lucky, you catch it early. If not, you find when you need it – like during a test or crisis.

(People that enjoyed my Study Skills course can count themselves as lucky ones.)

But what is happening? How can you think you learn something when you haven’t? How is that even possible?

Your conscious mind focuses on what’s in front of it. If you are reading a physics textbook, the physics lies in your conscious mind. As long as it is there, it feels easy to recall.

So, what happens? Eventually, your conscious mind thinks about other things. Like dinner, the past, or a conversation you are having. Since you can only focus on a few things, the physics slips from your mind. Later, your ability to recall the physics depends on one thing:

How well did your unconscious mind understand it?

girl-boxer-1333600_960_720

Hang on… why does learning depend on the unconscious?

Let’s think about what the conscious versus the unconscious mind. The conscious mind involves focused, deliberate thought. The unconscious mind involves natural, automatic actions.

Think about driving a car. At first, it is a conscious activity. You are concentrating hard, focused on everything you need to do. Chances are, you don’t drive well. But over time it becomes more natural. The process becomes smooth, automatic and skilful. Your conscious mind is so freed up that you can carry on a conversation while driving.

Learning can be thought of as taking conscious actions and making them unconscious. That is when you have learned something.

The role of the unconscious explains why some things are easier than others are. You learn and remember things you enjoy, while struggle to do the same with things you don’t enjoy. How much you – your conscious mind – wants to learn them doesn’t matter. It’s an unconscious process, so the unconscious mind wins.

But what does that have to do with the body?

The body and the unconscious mind are linked. They are bound by subtle, unbreakable threads. Your unconscious mind processes most of your sensory information. Your unconscious mind controls your heart rate, digestion and other organ processes. Your unconscious mind adjusts your balance and posture without you even realising it.

So:

  • If learning is an unconscious activity, and
  • The body is the gateway to the unconscious, then
  • Learning takes place in the body, not just the mind.

A strange thought, I know. How could learning happen in the body? Apart from physical skills like karate or driving a car, I mean.

I could try to persuade you but instead, I will let you persuade yourself. This is an invitation to your unconscious to notice the next time you learn something. Pay attention to the ideas and what affect they have on your body. Then notice how easily you can memorise and learn something.

You don’t have to give this matter any more conscious thought. But if this article does bubble to the front of your mind, think about what it means. Really notice how this has improved your ability to learn. Then, and only then, will you be persuaded of the relevance between the body, the mind and learning.


This post is part of Body Month at Mindwalker Training.

The Problems with eLearning (and how to fix them)

Don’t get me wrong – online courses are nothing short of miraculous. Now is the best time in human history to learn. The barriers for entry have crumbled down – cost, geography and schedule conflicts have all been banished to the Realm of Solved Problems. Anyone with an internet connection can learn at a university-level at their own pace. Ten years ago, this was a dream, a promise. Today, it is mere reality.

We have solved the impossible problems of delivering education to everyone. Yet, most educators are still stuck on the easy ones.

Let’s take a look at Coursera. On their About page, they say:

“That’s why we designed our platform based on proven teaching methods verified by top researchers.”

Sure enough, the principles they follow are effective. Peer assessment is an especially effective technique when it’s done right. When learners grade each other, it exposes them to different perspectives, new approaches and common mistakes. The course forums are excellent for this reason as well.

So it’s not all bad. But Coursera falls well short of even basic learning principles. I’m going to pick on the Data Science Specialisation from John Hopkins University. Before I do, let me say that the content of this program is excellent. The fact that it is free (or cheap, if you want the certification) is a sign of how incredible technology can be. I worked through most of the specialisation and got a lot out of it, so I say this out of love.

The courses are terrible. They are awful. As good as the content is, I’m amazed anyone learns any of it.

Most of the courses are structured the same. Each week has hours and hours of videos. These videos are a talking head bombarding you with huge volumes of content. There’s the occasional demonstration. In other words, it’s just like those face-to-face lectures you used to dread, now available in your own home.

Sure, it’s a recording, so you can pause, rewind or skip at any time (another miracle of technology). But reviewing the same confusing spray of contextless theory only helps so much.

Adults learn best when we can see the relevance of material, relate it to our experiences, engage with the concepts and share our thoughts with others. This is why you don’t remember anything from those traditional lecturers from university. Lecturers that talked at you until the clock ran out taught you nothing. So why on earth did Coursera import that model to the internet? It’s 19th century teaching over 21st century platforms.

Each week of the Data Science Specialisation ends with a quiz, which is a nice chance to review the content. There’s also a (peer-reviewed) assessment per course. This is great, except half the time you realise you learned nothing from a topic. One that you watched 40 minutes of videos on.

What a waste of time.

It’s true that some concepts are hard to understand. It’s also true that the content has to engage the learner. If the learner has to force their brain to pay attention, the content won’t make any impression. Think about it this way: the learner needs all their mental energy to process and understand new ideas. The more effort it takes to stay focused, the less is left over for learning it.

At least Coursera makes an effort to follow adult learning principles. PluralSight, which needs a paid account to access, is even worse. Most of the courses I’ve looked at are pure theory. A disembodied voice sprays words at you while a PowerPoint presentation plays. Although PluralSight courses have the option to include quizzes and activities, most don’t.

Again, the content is excellent. But who cares when the delivery is neurologically optimised to be ignored and forgotten?

A Better Class of eLearning

On these platforms, some courses rise above the others. Learning How to Learn is an example of a course that teaches. The delivery is well thought out. It’s designed to make the material as memorable and engaging as possible. It’s easy to stay focused during the videos. It’s easy to understand, recall and apply the concepts.

What can we learn from the best of these courses? We learn that eLearning works when:

The material engages your emotions. Maybe you can’t stimulate love for the concepts. Maybe using fear and anger aren’t great ideas. But it can be as simple as a touch of surprise and humour. Representing the formula for acceleration with a skydiving donkey works because your brain isn’t expecting it. Your brain is constantly predicting the future – when something violates that prediction, it pays extra attention.

The material is relevant to your life. We’ve all struggled to learn something. When someone explains why you struggled and what to do about it, it’s hard to ignore.

The material is time-effective. If your course includes five hours of video per week, maybe the learners will watch an hour a day. More likely, they will have to cram during their free time. The only thing this will achieve is stressing people.

We learn by relating new concepts to familiar ones. If a single concept is too strange to us, it can take a long time and a lot of effort to bridge the gap in understanding. Meanwhile, these videos could be barrelling through ten new concepts an hour. Learning becomes futile.

Slow down. Give learners time to process the concept before moving on. If the five hours of video are racing through the concepts, there’s too much content. Slow. Down.

Learning How to Learn is wonderfully paced. It covers a lot of material, yet the videos are short and never rushed. There’s time to assimilate the new ideas before moving on. This is because they focus on the key points and convey them well.

The material engages your senses. With the internet, adding images, audio and video is easy.

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Nothing I have said is controversial. These ideas are well understood in the context of educational theory. Yet how many online courses follow these? Which is why I launched Mindwalker Training. I saw a gap in the training market, both in content and delivery. Mindwalker Training is my mission: to teach the skills that people need in a way that engages the mind.

Support this mission because we can’t leave education in the hands of the clumsy few. When teaching fails, the consequences are worse than most people realise. Time and mental energy – our most precious resources – are squandered. Egos are depleted. Some people give up on subjects, thinking the problem lies with them rather than the educator.

This is what I pledge to solve. If all educators followed basic principles, the impact would be greater than any revolution in the past. It’s time to demand more from those that offer training. It’s time to expect engaging material. If your source of knowledge doesn’t, give Mindwalker Training a visit. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

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You should see my Study Skills course because it helps you learn things – even from badly delivered courses.

From tomorrow, your courses will be better than ever

I’m on the verge of releasing my free Training Program Evaluation Tools. I can tell you – it’s pretty exciting. Developing these was like living in a whirlwind; I saw a great need in the training community and strove to fulfill it. As always, thank you for following me this far.

What I am about to share are a full set of tools for analysing training courses. No matter what you teach or how you teach it, these tools will give you the insights you need. Training program evaluations can be tricky, complex, time-consuming… and often miss the marks. These tools simplify the process and ensure you get the answers you need.

The TPE Tools will be available for download tomorrow. They are fully customisable, allowing you to adapt them to your programs. You can take them, use them and be confident that the evaluation is proceeding well. Each tool guides you through how to use it each step of the way.

The result of all this? Your courses will be more relevant, more data-driven and more justifiable than ever before.

Once these tools launch, they will be freely available to download any time in the future. However, for the first five days only, I will also be including Making Content Memorable – a short guide to creating content that sticks with people. Making Content Memorable will only be available from the TPE Tools page. This exclusive guide will show you how to trigger the brain’s natural learning and retention mechanisms, regardless of your content. Be sure that you don’t miss out by signing up to the Mindwalker Training newsletter.

UPDATE: The TPE Tools are now live. Download them here.

How to use data to drive your courses

Training program evaluations are an important part of the teaching process. It can be a difficult one, though is doesn’t have to be. My last post described my TPE Tools and why you want to get evaluating right. With my free templates and guides to support you, program evaluation is simple and valuable.

Thank you to everyone that reached out to me about this. I find that program evaluation is one of those topics that attract a lot of interest. People are familiar of the idea of using data and evidence to assess the value of courses, and many organisations have their own processes for it. Then again, many don’t, which is why it’s great that so many people have spoken to me about it. Thank you to all of you – and for those of you that are just reading for now.

How do you know whether your training is relevant or not? How do you know what needs improving and what can be cut away? If you make these decisions based on instinct or just learner reactions, you’re living in the last century. Training program evaluations demand evidence. In return, they will reward you with clarity. You will know everything you need about your course – including how to secure more resources for it.

I designed an evaluation process for an organisation that never had one. Like so many L&D teams, they were too busy reacting to act. Courses were changed, then changed back, on the shifting tides of learner sentiment. They knew they had to be smarter about the process. So I helped them. Now, they have an evaluation process that takes almost the same time as their old approach but provides much more evidence. A vital course of theirs had been neglected because the organisation couldn’t see its value. A strong evaluation provided all the evidence they needed to sell it to their colleagues.

The truth is, program evaluations work. The communities of the 21st century are hungry for data. Decisions based solely on someone’s gut don’t cut it any more. Intuition has its place but there’s an expectation for data, for evidence. The value of training can be a difficult thing to quantify. With the right tools, you can.

By now, you appreciate the need to do evaluations not just well, but quickly and simply. My free TPE Tools, combined with your courses, will give you this power. In no time at all you will understand your courses deeper than ever. I will answer all of your questions, including how to access these tools, in the next post. You should subscribe to my email list so that you don’t miss it.

UPDATE: The TPE Tools are now live. Download them here.

Discover your course’s value

How do you know whether your training hits the mark? How can you prove that your courses need more funding when the purse strings tighten? How do you measure something as abstract as a training program’s value?

It’s possible. In fact, it’s simple. All you need are my free Training Program Evaluation (TPE) Tools. I have introduced frameworks for program evaluations to organisations that had none, and I like to think I have it down to a fine art. I have refined program evaluation to its essence and captured this in tools that anyone can use. They are simple enough to work anywhere, no matter your course or community.

Many organisations conduct program evaluations; few do it right. Evaluating is a scientific, data-drive process. It’s tempting to leap in and start gathering evidence right away, but it’s important to take your time. My TPE Tools contain guides and templates for developing your evaluation strategy. Part of the strategy document is a logic map; a means of capturing the key information about the course. Everything from why you run the course to how, all in one easy table. Below is what my logic maps often look like:

logic_map_template

A common objection to evaluations – perhaps the main one – is that they are a complicated waste of time. Assessing a course, sifting through volumes of testimonials and anecdotes, just to write a report that leaders ignore? That does sound like a waste of time. But this objection is wrong on two parts. First, an evaluation doesn’t have to be complicated or a time-drain. With the right tools, you can go from start to finish in days (if not hours). Secondly, a well-run evaluation gathers more than just anecdotes. It provides raw data that is impossible to ignore, with stories to soften the message.

Actually, it’s wrong on three counts because the report is valuable to you, too. The process unearths the details of your training program, revealing all its strengths and weaknesses. It reveals what people like and dislike, and what needs to change. Also, as I’ve already mentioned, it supplies proof of the value of the course – or proof that the training needs to change.

Evaluations are fantastic. If a course you value hasn’t had a program evaluation in a while, then it’s stumbling blindly through the community. You owe it to yourself and your learners to make your courses the best they can be – and to have the evidence to back up that claim.

The next post will go over the flow of training program evaluations. You’ll be impressed by how simple and effective they are. Subscribe to my email list to be sure you don’t miss it.

UPDATE: The TPE Tools are now live. Download them here.