Questions You’re Afraid to Ask

Make a commitment to spend just five to 10 minutes each day exploring one of these questions and jotting down the beginnings of answers. Doing so will create momentum that in six months provides answers, plans, projects, and programs that get implemented.

Everyone—including me—has questions they are afraid ask. But instead of asking ourselves hard questions and dealing with the answers, we often find ways to bury the questions temporarily. They are still there, however. And every once in a while, they rear their ugly heads until we suppress them again, often by getting busy (or busier). So what are you choosing for 2017? Here are some choices you can make, and I challenge you to do so:

As training and performance consultants— whether internal or external—what are the questions you are afraid to ask? Here are some possible examples:

Perhaps you have nagging questions regarding how to improve performance, but you intuitively feel the work required would be too overwhelming, and you don’t have the clout to pull it all off. So why start down that path in the first place?

Are there projects that you know, if implemented, would skyrocket results? But when would you have time to flesh everything out or even begin another project? So the projects get suppressed, but thoughts of them keep coming back over and over again.

Are there training programs you currently offer that are screaming to be redesigned? You know there are better ways to get people involved and keep them energized. Are there other ways you and your people could apply your skills and knowledge that would increase your impact and value to the organization—such as teaching project management, how to facilitate meetings, or how to make meetings more effective through increased interaction? But organizing that knowledge isn’t something you or your team have the energy for right now.

Are there training programs you think (or know) should be dropped? They’ve outlived their usefulness, but you’re afraid to express that opinion—especially since some of the programs are “sacred.”

You’ve learned what “scrap learning” is, but perhaps you’re afraid to look at the results of your own programs for fear that the scrap learning would be even higher than the 80 percent average. So you stick with the end-of-course evaluations that show 95 percent of the people loved it!

You know that transfer of training isn’t happening as often as it should, but you’re afraid to ask, “What can we do to improve the transfer of training?”

Have you asked yourself these questions? Had these thoughts? Be honest now. A part of you knows that if you allow yourself to be quiet and work on these things, they would result in a positive impact on your organization.

So do something about it! Make a commitment to spend just five to 10 minutes each day exploring one of these questions and jotting down the beginnings of answers.

Also, pose these questions to others on your team, and create a bulletin board—either physical or online—where people can post their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.

You’ll be amazed at what just five minutes a day can do to create momentum that in six months provides answers, plans, projects, and programs that get implemented.

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

Bob Pike, CSP, CPLP FELLOW, CPAE-Speakers 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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