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Dealing Well with Conflict: Don’t Avoid this One!

By Amy Franko

conflictAt almost every keynote or workshop I give on women in leadership, I usually talk with at least one woman afterwards on how to manage conflict with grace. This is never an easy topic, especially for many women.

We’ve been conditioned to avoid conflict or controversy, and find compromise. Let’s face it. We want to be liked! We don’t want to hurt another’s feelings. We want to live in a collaborative environment where everyone plays nicely in the sandbox.

A few areas that this seems to rear its ugly head the most are when:
We’re faced with providing any kind of negative feedback.
We have a difference of opinion, and we’re concerned with offending others by sharing it.

And when we’re faced with these situations, more often than not, we back down, find ways to soften our message, or we walk away altogether, hoping the situation will just disappear.

The result? Those actions leave us deflated and not the leaders we want to be. (And six months later we’re still rehashing it!)

So how do we manage conflict in ways that allow us to step into our best leadership light?

These tips on developing grace under fire are adapted from Dr. Lois Frankel, my mentor and author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office.

1. Build your feedback account. We’re taught at a young age that to build a positive, healthy bank account, that we have to make more deposits than withdrawals. This same philosophy applies to giving feedback. It’s important to build the habit of giving plenty of positive, sincere feedback to those you lead or who work on projects. So when the time does come for you to provide critical feedback, it’s viewed as constructive and developmental (and not construed as you being overly critical).

2. Use a formula. Dr. Frankel recommends using a formula called DESCript. This allows you to structure your comments, keeping the focus on behaviors and future outcomes. It also gives you a way to open the conversation.
D = Describe why you’re having the conversation.
E = Explain your perspective in behavioral terms, and elicit feedback from the other person on how he/she views the situation.
S = Show that you’ve heard the other person, and be specific about future behaviors you expect.
C = Align the expected behaviors to the future consequences you want to achieve.
Always thank the other person for listening and working through this with you.

3. Prepare a few key phrases. It always helps to have a key phrase you can rely on to start a conversation that might get a little sticky.
When offering a counter viewpoint: “I’d like to share a different way to look at the situation, based on my experience/research.”
When faced with an especially difficult conversation where it will be challenging to get the words out: “This is a bit difficult for me to say. I have a few important points to share on this situation, and I’d like to give you my perspective.”

Much of our ability to communicate well in potentially rocky situations comes down to being prepared and exercising strong emotional intelligence. These philosophies, formulas, and phrases will help!

© 2015 Impact Instruction Group
You are welcome to reprint this article. Please include the article in its entirety along with the bio and copyright.

2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report – Tin Can API

Welcome to the last video in our technology trends series. This episode’s topic is the Tin Can API.

Not sure what that is? Well, you’re not alone.

Think of it as the modernization for the SCORM. And it’s changing the way we gather and analyze learning data.

The Tin Can API, which is also known as the xAPI, is growing in recognition. But it’s in the exploratory stages. In fact, this was the first year it made the Impact Instruction Group Leadership and Development Technology Trends survey. We asked our respondents how they would characterize their organization’s adoption of the Tin Can API.

Tin Can API - Impact InstructionHere’s what they said:
• 48 percent have heard of it, but have no plans to implement.
• 35 percent never heard of it.
• And just 17 percent are considering implementation and plan to further explore this year.

Watch this video to learn about the results, as well as hear why this is a tool you should consider for your business’ training program.

 

 …..

And, for all the details, be sure to read our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. If you haven’t already downloaded the full report, just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View previous posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights Mobility | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks

2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report – Enterprise Social Networks

Welcome back to the Impact Instruction Group’s video series on our third annual Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. This episode, we’re going in depth on Enterprise Social Networking.

First, let’s take a step back and define enterprise social networks. Chief Learning Officer Magazine defines them as private internal software platforms designed to engage employees while fostering collaboration and informal learning.

We asked our survey respondents if they had adopted an enterprise social networking tool… it was a new question for our 2015 survey. They were split down the middle… 50 / 50.

Our founder and CEO Amy Franko explains in this short video.

 

 …
You can also see exactly how our respondents answered our enterprise social networking questions in this graphic:

II_Survey_Dec2014_v5_Q56And, for all the details, be sure to read our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. If you haven’t already downloaded the full report, just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View previous posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights Mobility | Staffing | Tin Can API

2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report – Staffing

We wondered how organizations’ learning and development teams will be staffed to keep up with the growing mobile learning emphasis in training. So we asked you as part of our survey for the Impact Instruction Learning and Development Technology Trends Report.

 

 

 

 

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In looking at the data, one number in particular caught our attention… That’s the decrease in organizations that say they have the right people in place to meet the growing emphasis on mobile learning. Only 12 percent believe they do. That’s down from 21 percent last year.

II_Survey_Dec2014_v5_Q4

What skills SHOULD a learning team have in place to stay at the forefront? We found it’s a blend of technical, business and interpersonal abilities.

Learn more from Amy Franko in the video above.

And, for all the details, be sure to download a copy of our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. you haven’t already downloaded the full report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View more posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights Mobility | Enterprise Social Networks | Tin Can API

 

Reduce the Capability Gap with Technology-Based Learning

columbus ceo logoOf all the things that keep leaders up at night, one of the most challenging is the “capability gap,” that is making sure the right people are with the organization, in the right roles, and with the right skills to move the business forward.

How can leaders assess their organization, to reduce capability gaps and build their competitive advantage? A strong place to start is with a role-based talent development program that encompasses consistent on-boarding and ongoing learning experiences. Our Amy Franko shared seven benefits of technology-based learning in this guest blog in Columbus CEO.

2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report – Mobility

We in the learning industry must answer the demand to incorporate a level of mobile and social learning into our work environments.

How are we doing at it?

Impact Instruction Group asked our survey respondents how they would characterize their company’s adoption of mobile learning. Impact Instruction Group Founder and CEO Amy Franko explains more in this short video.

 

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This graphic also provide

This graphic also provides insights. You’ll see that 44 percent said they had new mobile devices and need to create a strategy to leverage them. But, ZERO said they have a fully-implemented mobile-learning strategy.

II_Survey_2015

Why aren’t we doing better? The Towards Maturity organization cities several barriers when it comes to implementing mobile learning.

For example, the “bring your own device policy,” the cost of acquiring devices, the loss of control over corporate data, and the perceived lack of use all work against mobile learning implementation.

If you’re not already incorporating mobile into your learning program, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Identify a specific business need.
  2. Start small.
  3. Create a strategy document.

If you haven’t already downloaded the full report, access your copy now. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

Join us again soon for our next video when we talk about staffing.

View previous posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks | Tin Can API

 

2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report – Leadership Insights

Survey Says: Leadership Shows More Interest in Technology-Based Learning + Performance Solutions

Our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report is out, and one area of focus was leadership’s interest in technology-based learning and performance solutions.

 

 

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What’s on the radar in the C-Suite? More than 70 percent of our respondents indicated that their leadership is showing an increased interest in implementing technology-based learning and performance solutions. That’s up several points over last year. We weren’t surprised to see this support, especially with technology being leveraged in other areas of their organizations.

This graphic illustrates the results. Just click on it to view it full size.

II_Survey_Dec2014_v5_Q2

This focus means the pressure is on us to show results. It’s crucial that we provide learning opportunities that best leverage current technologies, and also make sense for our organizational environment and culture. We must also  be willing to create the business case for our learning initiatives and demonstrate solid ROI.

There are several ways you can do this.

First, we recommend that you know the core strategic initiatives of your organization and develop an understanding of your IT initiatives. That will help you identify core technologies.

Second, we’re seeing success with establishing cross-functional relationships and involving different stakeholders in learning initiatives. That builds credibility for the training function.

If you haven’t already downloaded the full report, access your copy now. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View more posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments |  Mobility | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks | Tin Can API

2015 Top Learning and Development Technology Investments

We’re back to tell you more about the results of our third annual Learning and Development Technology Trends Report.
 
This week, we’ll dive into the first section of the report… Investment.

 

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We asked our respondents what technology-based learning and performance support methods their organizations would invest in this year. Almost all areas are showing growth or holding steady.

Still ranking #1 in technology investment is eLearning at 85 percent; however, webinars came in second, making a comeback with an increase of 17 percent over last year. Videos also jumped 20 percent this year over last, the largest increase. Virtual Networking was a new category this year, with 40% of respondents investing in it this year. Mobile, Games, Social Networking, Virtual Conferences, and Flipped Classroom remained close to last year’s numbers.

You can see the results in this graphic. Just click it to view it full size.

II_Survey_Dec2014_v5_Q1
In our next installment, we’ll take a look at leadership.

And don’t forget to download your copy of the report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

If you have any questions about the report or how Impact Instruction can help you achieve your business performance goals, just let us know!

View more posts from this series:

Introduction | Leadership Insights Mobility | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks

2015 Technology-Based Learning Trends

What’s Hot in Technology-Based Learning?
Be in the know with Impact Instruction’s 2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report.

Welcome to the first installment in our video series highlighting key findings from our 2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report. As a friend of Impact Instruction Group, we want to make sure you’re in the know. This is our third-annual look at how some of the world’s largest organizations are investing in, planning for and using L&D technology.  It has information and insights to empower you to make an impact in your business.

 

Technology is always changing, and it’s changing the way we approach learning – so it’s critical that we keep our fingers on the pulse of the latest tools and trends. When we in the learning profession use these tools and trends in our work, we can have a great impact on our people, which in turn creates stronger organizations and stronger results.

In this report, we tracked learning technology trends across six areas:

  • Categories of learning technologies in which companies will invest in 2015
  • Leadership interest in implementing new technologies
  • Maturity of corporate mobile learning strategies
  • Staffing plans for mobile initiatives
  • Utilization of enterprise social tools in training
  • Use of xAPI, or Tin Can API software

We also compared the data from our 2013 and 2014 technology reports and learned the trends are shifting.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore some highlights of our findings with you. Amy explains more in this video. Watch for next week’s episode. And be sure to download your copy of the report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

Of course, if you have any questions about the report or how Impact Instruction can help you achieve your business performance goals, just let us know!

View more posts from this series:

Investments | LeadershipMobility | Staffing  | Enterprise Social Networks | Tin Can API

Go Fast or Go Far? Building Strong Teams

Each year in the Spring and Fall, I volunteer in a world that’s very different from the one I spend much of my waking and working hours in:  as an assistant coach to 20 grade-school girls in an after school program called Girls on the Run.

Girls on the Run teaches life and leadership skills within the context of a running program.  At the end of 10 weeks, several hundred girls from programs all over the region celebrate their accomplishments by participating in a 5K.

As you can imagine there are all types of backgrounds, abilities, personalities, and emerging leadership styles.  We have outgoing and shy, talkative and quiet, those comfortable out front, and those who prefer the middle of the pack.

While running is sport that hones individual mental and physical skills, these girls are also experiencing what it means to be supportive and encouraging in an inclusive, collaborative environment.  They’re learning the power of success through teamwork.

Teamwork is important in every aspect of our lives. Behind nearly every success are both individual contributions and those of the greater team.  This article shares some specific actions you can take in building a high-performance team. [Read more…]