Mythbusting: it’s time to forget about learning styles

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, Garry Platt gives the ubiquitous learning styles theory (or theories) a jolly good kicking and talks through research that calls into question their validity and usefulness (to put it politely).

I stopped using learning styles to structure learning workshops some years ago, mainly because I continually tweaked things and replaced things that worked less well with things that worked better, and this meant, quite unintentionally, learning styles fell by the wayside. This was a pragmatic approach that accidentally stumbled into the same place as Garry discusses in this podcast.

This is a Trainer Tools Essential Podcast

Here are the links to the research that Garry cites throughout the podcast:

 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.

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.

Transactional Analysis for trainers (part two): understanding transactions

In this episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I welcome back Garry Platt to continue discussions 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.

In this episode Garry talks about “Transaction”, and this builds on the first podcast “Transactional Analysis for trainers (part one): understanding ego states” that you should check out before listening to this.

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.

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.

The Performance Gap

How do you ensure your training courses cover what your learners really need to know?

In the fourth episode of the Trainer Tools podcast, I talk to Garry Platt, one of the first trainers I ever worked with. In this interview, Garry talks about his approach to learning needs analysis.

 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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