Training & Learning

Rochelle Mazar is a very insightful and interesting colleague. Her recent post “Training is Broken” focuses on something many of us have encountered: faculty dislike being “trained.” And as a result a training approach doesn’t work (no matter how often we try; and we do seem to keep on trying). So Rochelle did something different:

“So we’ve thrown all that [i.e. the typical training program] out. We put all the instructions for how to do every blessed thing onto ipads. Want those instructions? Touch the document, press the button, email them to yourself. Done. You have them. Relax. Now, talk to us. What are you trying to accomplish? What’s giving you grief?

I’ve highlighted the last few sentences because that’s the magic (simple as it may seem) of Rochelle’s approach: let’s chat.

“Here’s what I’ve learned: get down from the podium. Put the powerpoint slides away. Sit down and talk to the people you’re trying to train. Show them how valuable your knowledge and experience actually is. It’s so much more fun.

And, if we’re lucky, more effective.”

At the heart of this approach is respect. Respect for the time and attention of faculty. Respect for the expertise we bring to the conversation.


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2 Responses to Training & Learning

  1. Rochelle says:

    Ahh…right you are! I hadn’t even stopped to consider it in those terms! Librarians tend to not even acknowledge their own expertise, do they (unless it maps directly onto the traditional academic model of expertise, of course), and I think the drive to at least tell them all the important things gets in the way of respecting faculty time and attention. Respect. I like it. I will take that into my next “training” session. 😉

  2. Dana Echtner says:

    Thanks (to both of you) for this. This is so true for IT departments as well as libraries! This is going into my collection tagged as “IT”, “education”, “wisdom”, and “leadership”.


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