How Not to Waste Money on Training

Apr 13, 2011
4 Min Read

Do you know someone who’s a professional learner? These are people who are constantly seeking “the” answer to whatever problem they are facing or new skill they want to conquer. They attend training session after training session, get really excited about the content, and then do nothing with it.

The problem is that often times the information from these trainings doesn't get put into action. The learning method doesn't matter. It could be through face-to-face or online training classes, by listening to a podcast or attending a webinar, or one-on-one coaching from a colleague. But if what you heard during a session isn't put into action, it was a waste of time.

If you are going to attend training, think about what outcome you expect from yourself before you begin. Are you seeking an answer to a specific problem? Are you looking for inspiration? Or do you need to stay up-to-date on a new trend? Write this objective down and keep it in mind during the training.

Then after the session  put this new information into action via a commitment to new behavior or changes to your day-to-day activities. To make it easier on yourself, start with a small step. Commit to executing on one low-impact action item in the first week after the training and ramp from there. Then work on building a long-term plan to implement behaviors inspired by your new knowledge into your daily routine or specific initiatives. You could also set up an agreement with an accountability partner -- someone who will help you hold yourself accountable to applying what you have learned.

Since we cover team leadership a lot on this blog, here are some action-oriented tools for you to consider if you really want to make a change in your leadership skills:

  • Leadership IQ -- Online training that is practical and easy to implement with step-by-step instructions for making change work.
  • Working Leadership -- A mix of assignments, dialogue and coaching are included in this training. (This one has accountability integrated in the program!)
  • Manager Tools -- Tons of podcasts on management and leadership topics in addition to an interactive online forum

I’ve personally experienced each of these and they are all excellent choices depending on what you are looking for. But remember, think about the outcome and actions you might take before you begin because it’s the action that matters.

What are some of the methods you use to hold yourself accountable to applying your learning?

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