Author Archive

Santa’s Elves Make Training Stick (December 2018)

December 6, 2018

2018 has been an eventful year for Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, and the Reindeer with so much to learn in preparation for Christmas!  Rudolph and the reindeers have been busy training on newer, safer methods of transporting packages while the elves have been learning how to make brighter, more colorful toys and electronics for children across the world.

Santa promised to keep up with change and provide boys and girls the best, brightest, and most up to date toys, electronics, and gadgets every year.  But the toys the boys and girls started asking for had changed, especially those electronic toys.    The elves – and Rudolph – needed continuing education and learning throughout the year.  Instead of taking the elves off the production line, Rudolph decided to use e-learning.

But Santa’s goal to create brighter, more colorful toys and electronics may be at risk for this year’s Christmas. Chief Elf Bernard and the elves have been in the workshop trying to complete e-learning on creating toys for Christmas 2018. The elves have told Bernard they just simply don’t like the e-learning. They say it is impersonal and they can’t ask questions.  And the elves can’t focus on the e-learning because they’re distracted by their work machines and tools, emails, telephone calls, reindeer dropping in, and calendars full of meetings and other commitments.

•  Elf Bernard immediately set up computers away from the elves’ work areas (but still closeby) where they could focus on their learning.

•   Mrs. Claus came by with copies of Making Learning Stick, and Making eLearning Stick and offered to help.  She had used techniques from the books to learn how to make new cookie recipes.

•   Mrs. Claus showed Elf Bernard how to revise the eLearning content and curriculum using the Checklist for Better Training Transfer (Resource:  Making eLearning Stick, pg. 26).

•   She also showed him someTechniques to Integrate Education (TIEs) to reinforce the training and how to modify his e-learning  to integrate TIEs (Resources:   Making Learning Stick, chap. 2)

•   Elf Bernard decided to use these TIEs:

(1) Before Training:  Action Learning, Boss Briefing, and Training Buddies

(2) During Training: Mind Sweep, Strategy Link, Virtual Tutor, Threaded Discussion

(3) After Training: Action Plans, Boss Debriefing, and Use It or Lose It Checklist

The elves were happy with their new learning environment and most importantly, they are now hard at work making the latest and greatest toys and electronics for Santa to deliver to good little girls and boys everywhere on Christmas Day!

And everyone will live happily ever after – that is, until the next major change or shift in learning.

Happy Holidays from the Make Training Stick!® Team!

Until next time…


Making Training Stick with a Growth Mindset

October 24, 2018

Sticky Note

October 18, 2018

Mindsets can have a significant impact on learning transfer and application.  Some thought leaders have even termed “Mindset” as the new psychology of success.  A mindset is a form of Positive Psychology that involves an attitude that helps a person handle situations.  Facilitators and designers with a learning and application Mindset, a Make Training Stick Mindset, can influence participants expectations of learning as well as the learning and application itself.  Facilitators with this type of Mindset embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in others.  By modeling these behaviors, facilitators encourage participants to go on the journey of learning new content by helping them focus on the experience of learning and to increase willingness to try new things.  Facilitators can build a positive climate for learning and create a nurturing Mindset with trust, commitment, care, preparation, and effort.

Here are some suggestions to foster a Make Training Stick Mindset:

  • In the training design, facilitators should include learning goals, content relevance, practice and feedback, behavior modeling, error-based examples, and self-management strategies.
  • Before class, send “can do” encouraging messages with positive descriptors along with enrollment details, such as “as one of our talented employees, I know will find this training is thought-provoking. Plan positive “can do” messages during the training delivery.
  • Throughout the beginning of class, make an active effort to use positive descriptors for class members individually and/or as a group, using phrases such as “you are a bright group of trainees”…“brilliant idea”…”I can see we have a class of excellent performers.” This seems so simple but it can make a big impact.
  • Post positive written messages in electronic or face-to-face classrooms that describe a desired end result. These types of positive statements are also called Affirmations and can be used for work-related behavior change.  Affirmations are described in detail in the Making Training Stick Field Guide (on Amazon).
  • Consider sending a series of post-training emails with messages to reinforce a positive Mindset. Everyone gets a lot of emails these days but most people will be pleased to receive a positive, affirming note especially when it doesn’t require them to reply.

More information on these and other evidence-based elements for effective learning and transfer, are in Barbara Carnes’ book, Making Learning Stick (on Amazon).

Until next time…


new doc 2018-04-13 21.53.22_1


Self-Awareness and Making Training Stick

August 16, 2018

Greetings!  In the May Sticky Note Dr. Barbara Carnes told you that I, Dr. Tammy Means, would take a role in authoring new content. In June we introduced our Training Transfer Technologies Poll (if you haven’t responded, please click on the link) and now we are excited to introduce the August Sticky Note on Self Awareness and Making Training Stick.  A lack of self-awareness inhibits learning transfer.  I recently conducted a workshop on Emotional Intelligence with a special focus on Self Awareness. Participants in the workshop focused on practical ways to become more self-aware…

And I also began to explore practical ways facilitators can encourage and increase self-awareness in participants (to increase learning transfer).  Participants who are self-aware are able to understand their own emotions and recognize feelings (angry, sad, scared, happy)—thus, helping manage emotions and feelings needed to improve and makes room for learning and application.  The goal is to create better self-knowledge, to make adjustments and improvements, and to accommodate for weaknesses.  This involves the facilitator taking on the coaching role to guide participants to have them come to their own understandings and knowledge about themselves.

Facilitators can support competencies of Self Awareness in these ways:

  •  Self-Regard (being aware of, understanding and accepting ourselves).  Foster a culture of praise and constructive feedback to participants.  This encourages a coaching culture within the learning environment.
  • Emotional Self-Awareness (being aware of and understanding our emotions). Allow participants to express their emotions in positive ways by using situational examples throughout trainings.  Facilitators can also use personality tests within trainings.
  • Assertiveness (expressing our feelings and ourselves nondestructively).  Set a professional tone within the learning environment to demonstrate how participants are expected to express themselves.
  • Independence (being self-reliant and free of emotional dependency on others).  Allow time in class for self-reflection.  This allows participants to evaluate themselves.
  • Self-Actualization (setting and achieving goals to actualize our potential). Set aside time for participants to reflect on their learning and to set goals.  This encourages individuals to focus on their strengths and embrace weaknesses or failures.

Self Awareness is closely linked to Barbara’s previous Sticky Note on Mindfulness as well as the Training Transfer Process Model in Barbara’s book Making Learning Stick (available through Amazon) which includes a number of Learner Characteristics  research has shown support learning transfer.  While self-awareness is not specifically listed in the model, those listed that are closely linked to self-awareness are:  self-efficacy, openness to experience, and career planning.

Until next time…

new doc 2018-04-13 21.53.22_1Barbara