Development, Leadership, Learning, Organisations, Staying Curious

Advice you’d give to someone starting in L&D?‬


I’m not used to being a “list” blogger…but this is following on from a #LDInsight chat a couple of Fridays ago (follow @LnDConnect on Twitter and #LDInsight on Twitter on Fridays, GMT 8am)
I was on “broadcast mode” that morning, Tweeting a bunch of stuff I would say to new (and existing) Learning and Development types.
I’ve been thinking about it and this is a slightly extended version.

‪1) Stay open to new ideas. Keep challenging your own thinking. Constantly. Others will need that from you‬… If you don’t want to continuously learn, you are in the wrong job.  Keep your thinking fresh & embrace your ability to be critically evaluative of what you hear.

2) Get a good dose of “in the room” experience under your belt. You learn more about yourself/others when working in a confined space with a bunch of semi-strangers than any textbook/course can‬ ever teach you.

3) You have good, bad and ugly in you – learn what they look like and make friends with them. You’re going to bump into each often if you work with Groups & Teams.

4) Have trusted sensible folk to reflect with. Learn your craft through mistakes and have people around you to help you make sense of these.‬ Learning is part sense-making and it is helpful not to do this alone.

5) Uncomfortable is good. (Yes. Really.) Cheesy is bad.‬
Be authentic in what you offer, not superficial or gimmicky, even if that means it isn’t cozy.‬

6) You are about to commence in one of best parts of being in an organisation. The opportunity to enable learning.‬ ‪On bad days? That’s still cool.‬

7) Qualitative data counts. Numbers are useful, but in the end learning is more art than exact science.‬ Find your argument for this‬ & learn to use it wisely.

8) Learning solutions for systems are complex. Boxing complexity is thankless & possibly pointless. It’s ok not to be too neat with your solutions and ideas. But be a little neat‬

9) Get used to talking to techies & experts. If you don’t understand what you are being told, say so. Always. If your intuition says: “Huh?” that’s valid.‬
Sometimes? The Emperor really is butt naked.

10 ) Get know yourself well & deeply. The hours you put in understanding your own impact and responses is time well spent. Work and life are so much easier when you aren’t afraid of being found out.

What would your advice be?

4 thoughts on “Advice you’d give to someone starting in L&D?‬”

  1. There is no absolute truth (a la Gergen). Let go of the need to be ‘right’ or beat yourself up for being ‘wrong’. Nice blog , thanks.

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