Making Choices In 2017

It’s important to realize we always have a choice. Even when we think we don’t have a choice, that thinking is typically only a result of the limitations we place upon ourselves.

A new year is upon us: 2017. Three hundred and sixty-five days in which we can add value and make a difference. Or not. The choice is ours. Not resolutions—choices!

Choice. What an important word. It’s important to realize we always have a choice. Even when we think we don’t have a choice, that thinking is typically only a result of the limitations we place upon ourselves.

So what are you choosing for 2017? Here are some choices you can make, and I challenge you to do so:

1. You can choose to view training as a process, not an event. This means you’ll look at what’s happening before and after a training program to help ensure that what is learned gets applied. Why? Because the purpose of training is to get results.

2. You can choose to make sure every training program has a proper opening that breaks preoccupation, facilitates networking, and is clearly relevant to the content of the course. Because learning can’t take place unless people are mentally, as well as physically, present.

3. You can choose to be sure that every training program you are responsible for has a proper closing—that is, one that allows for celebration, creates an action plan, and ties everything together. If people don’t plan for application while they’re in class, chances are they won’t when class is over.

4. You can choose to remember that adults can listen for understanding for 90 minutes, can listen with retention for 20 minutes, and need to be involved every eight minutes. This is Pike’s 90/20/8 rule. This means no single content chunk will be longer than 20 minutes.

5. You can choose to remember that key content needs to be revisited a minimum of six times, with interval reinforcement, in order to move content from learners’ short-term memory to their long-term memory. People can’t use what they can’t remember.

“Revisiting” is when participants look at content in a new way. “Reviewing” is when an instructor covers the material again, albeit in a different way. As you create your content, you can remember to always look for creative ways to deliver a 20-minute chunk of content.

6. You can choose to develop transfer strategies for each of your programs to help ensure that after three to six months, you’ll be able to follow up and see multiple things participants are doing differently as they apply what they have learned.

7. You can choose to join me at the Training 2017 Conference & Expo in San Diego and on my group at I’d love to connect with you on a deeper level.

Each of these choices can take your training and the results of your training to a new level.

A final thought? Look for a dozen small ways to improve what you’re doing right now. These small improvements, as you implement them, can add huge value to everything you do.

As I leave you this month, I ask that you e-mail me at and let me know what your biggest training challenge is. I’ll see what I can do to help.

Until next month, continue to add value and make a difference.

Bob Pike, CSP, CPLP FELLOW, CPAESpeakers Hall of Fame, is known as the “trainer’s trainer.” He is the author of more than 30 books, including “Creative Training Techniques Handbook” and his newest book, “The Master Trainer’s Handbook.” You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook using bobpikectt.

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