If you’re not aware of your unconscious bias, you’re holding yourself back

Hi I’m John, and I’m biased.

I am not the only one. You are too.

In fact all human beings are born with a set of biases and mental shortcuts that help us survive and deal with the world around us.

In the past such biases were vital to survival. We didn’t need to worry about being fair and inclusive when we were living in caves; we were more concerned with finding the next woolly mammoth and avoiding being eaten by lions. Issues such as creating a diverse community were way down our priority list.

Times have changed. Now we live and work in a multicultural global environment and need to broaden our vision beyond our own narrow bias-filled perspectives. This isn’t easy, and in fact a lot of biases will persist even if you are aware of them and intellectually believe they are wrong … but we can only manage what we’re aware of, and in this podcast we discuss what unconscious bias is and how as learning and development professionals we can improve our understanding of our own biases in order to improve our performance.

Link to unconscious bias resources and links.

 

Paul Tizzard


Paul Tizzard has been a professional trainer since 1996 and independent since 2001. He is a trained presenter, coach and facilitator. Since becoming independent, he has been fortunate to work in many different countries with an eclectic range of industries and companies. … read more about Paul here.

Who’s afraid of SMART objectives? You don’t need to be

SMART objectives

I’ve never been a big fan of SMART objectives. I accept there is wisdom in the acronym, but I think the process tends to eclipse the most important things about performance objectives: they should provide clarity, challenge and motivation, and when delivered they should add value to the organisation.

I made this point in a previous podcast (The secrets of accelerated learning: what’s your objective? with Krystyna Gadd) and was contacted by Garry Platt who disagreed with some of what I said and wanted to mount a defence of SMART.

So that’s what this is … an extra podcast challenging some of the content of the previous one, with a screeching parrot in the background.

Here’s a link to Garry’s SMART objective descriptions.

Here’s a post I wrote a while ago on this topic: SMART objectives can be really DUMB.

Here is a link to Garry’s podcast on an alternative to SMART objectives for circumstances that don’t fit well with SMART.

 Garry Platt


Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development … read more about Garry here.

How to run an activity based assertiveness workshop

Some things come up again and again in learning needs analyses, whatever the organisation, whatever the circumstances, and “assertiveness skills” (or something similar) is one of those things.

It crops up in the middle of loads of different structured training courses, it forms part of many coaching relationships, even pops up on teambuilding workshops from time to time. It seems like many of us human beings just aren’t naturally that great at being assertive in a positive way, we tend to be either naturally passive or naturally aggressive, and struggle to calibrate assertiveness correctly.

In this episode, Kevin Stephens talks us through his approach to running an assertiveness workshop. As always with Kevin, it’s a very practical and active approach that I hope has some good ideas for others facing the same learner needs.

 

Kevin Stephens


Kevin Stephens is a Learning and Development practitioner who specialises in helping people get the most of their working relationships by delivering bespoke management and leadership programmes. He has a large well of experience, gained from over 20 years working in senior management … read more about Kevin here.

An alternative to SMART objectives for behavioural stuff that’s hard to measure

It is a rare performance management training course that doesn’t include the ubiquitous SMART acronym within it – and it is a rare organisation that doesn’t demand its people create a yearly clutch of SMART objectives to meet the needs of their performance management process.

And that’s the problem.

SMART objectives are often written to meet the needs of the process – not the people – they are written to fulfill the requirements of the clever acronym, but not actually to respond to the particular challenges of the individual job holder and their manager.

This is a long-running bugbear of mine, and it was good to hear that one of this podcast’s great supporters and contributors, Garry Platt, had encountered exactly that problem during his consultancy work.

As good as they sometimes are, often it’s just very difficult to write SMART objectives: it’s not only hard to articulate the specific behaviour, it’s next to impossible to create an appropriate measure that doesn’t just tot up something numeric that’s vaguely related (but not very important).

However, we’re made of strong stuff on the Trainer Tools podcast, and just because something is difficult is no reason not to do it! So in this episode Garry talks me through his approach to what he calls behavioural objectives.

Trying to SMARTify your objectives need never ruin your life again!

Garry has also blogged about this on LinkedIn.

 Garry Platt


Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development … read more about Garry here.

Transactional Analysis for trainers (part one): understanding ego states

In the eighth episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I welcome back Garry Platt to begin a series of casts on his specialist subject: Transactional Analysis.

Transactional Analysis, or TA, is a theory of how humans interact with each other – its main application being to help understand human behaviour and communication: each interaction between people being called a “transaction”. It was developed by Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne and has been a tool in the trainer and coach toolbox for many years in helping us understand ourselves and our own interpersonal behaviours, but also understand those of others.

We’re going to do a whole series on this because it’s such a broad and interesting topic, so this is just the start of something!

In this episode Garry talks about “Ego States”, the first building block in understanding the theory. This is also really useful as training course content for courses on topics such as assertiveness and communication skills.

Garry has also blogged about this on LinkedIn.

 Garry Platt


Garry Platt is an experienced training consultant with more than 30 years experience in the business. He has worked with a number of international organisations helping them to enhance their approach to training and development … read more about Garry here.

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