Confessions of an L&D professional

  1. “What do you think about this class?”
  2. “Do you like this vendor?”
  3. “Can you recommend a good training on “X”?
  4. “Should we do a mentorship program?”

Well, it depends. 

These are the types of questions I receive several times a week. And when I’m asked, I usually offer a few questions back.

Learning and Development isn’t the only profession where people come to us looking for, or requesting a pre-set solution.

It’s the equivalent of going to a doctor to request a specific type of medicine. 

We want you to know – we want to help. Rather than being a content master or vendor wrangler, many of us thrive on understanding and solving your root cause.

Here is how to help us help you. 

Explain the ideal outcome, not just the tool you want

  1. What do you want to be different after “X”? 
  2. How would you know we’ve succeeded?
  3. How would this aid your performance, or connect to a business goal? 

People usually seek out training or L&D to solve a specific problem, not just for content. Start with the end in mind and help connect the dots between the challenge you’re facing and what the ideal state is. 

What are the conditions like?

It’s hard to land a plane in a hurricane. Conditions matter. 

The environment someone is operating in is a key factor in whether or not the training (or solution) will stick and have a lasting impact.

  1. What kind of managerial support does this person have?
  2. What else might get in the way of it being successful?
  3. Does this person or this team want help or see the need?

When we ask these questions we’re trying to get a sense of what could get in the way of this solution sticking. 

Why? Information (content) is everywhere. But people rarely change because of information alone. Make the content more useful by connecting it to a need people care about and understanding the context someone is operating in. 

Instead of simply being information brokers, L&D teams have the opportunity and desire to be connection builders for lasting change. We can help close the gap for you. 


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