Posts Tagged ‘Training’

I am fascinated by how the concept of ‘good enough’ relates to being organized and our many attempts to be what we perceive as ‘well organized’.  What does being organized mean to you?  Most likely not the same as it does to your spouse, your best friend or your children.  What if, instead of constantly striving to be more organized, better organized or even, heaven forbid, perfectly organized we strove for (more…)


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A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Moncton to deliver a workshop on Overcoming Procrastination at the IAAP Atlantic Conference for a group of over 80 very enthusiastic women.  Wow, it was good fun and we had some interesting discussion about procrastination and why we do it. (more…)

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The last few weeks I have been volunteering for Junior Achievement Nova Scotia delivering the ‘Our Business World’ program to grade six students.  It never ceases to amaze me that kids are interested in business at such a young age.  And, wow, do they know a lot of stuff – go figure! (more…)

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Yup, here I am yet again ranting about email productivity, or lack thererof!

I’m reading this great book about email entitled The Hamster RevolutionThough I’ve studied this subject a lot, I like the creative approach to explaining what email overload can do to us – it can turn us all into tiny hamsters running on a hamster wheel 7 days a week trying to keep up. (more…)

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Well, it seems that Conference season has kicked into high gear yet again this fall.   As usual I have had the good fortune of being booked by several associations to present workshops at their conferences and be a part of their professional development weeks which is always good fun.   I so enjoy being a small part of a much bigger educational opportunity and admire companies and associations who are true learning organizations.

The exciting news this week is that I get to go to my own professional development conference where I’ll be in the audience instead of in front of the room (for the most part).  Professional Organizers in Canada has been hosting their annual conference since 2000.  So exciting to be attending the 10th annual conference and this year we’re in Montreal – yeah! 

Not only will I be continuing my education as an organizer by attending sessions such as ‘Online Tools for Maximum Productivity’, ‘The Impact of Technology on Time Management’ (with time management guru Harold Taylor), and ‘Do I E-Shred This?’ but I will also hear two great keynote speakers.  In addition, I’ve got several one-on-one meetings scheduled with specific people I want to learn more from and I’m sitting on the ‘Ask a Senior Organizer’ panel.  There’s nothing like being grilled by other organizers about your business – yikes!

I know what you’re thinking, three days with a group of over 100 other organizers, you’ve got to be kidding me.  Believe it or not we’re not all Type A personalities (although I think the majority are) and we’re not all suffering from mild OCD (at least I don’t think we are?).  Many of our members have transformed their own lives from chaos to order and are now able to teach others how to do it.

I have to admit I’m glad to be picking up a few more CE credits for my certification, but I have to say that my favourite part of the conference is always seeing my organizing friends from across the country and meeting new friends.  I do love to socialize and being a ‘solopreneur’ can be tough at times. There’s nothing like sharing business ideas and challenges with a group of your peers who really get it.

Speaking of sharing with peers who really get it, upon my return from Montreal I’m heading to the Centre for Women in Business Conference the next week.   This time I’ll be learning about growing my business and sharing with women from all walks of life for one day. 

I think I’m going to be all ‘conferenced’ out by that time and ready to get back to work on my business and working with my clients equipped with all the tools to provide even better service than ever.

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Last week I taught a class on contact management for Professional Organizers in Canada (POC).  Who knew there were so many systems out there?  And, we only touched on a few of them.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, as they are often referred to, can be anything from a simple spreadsheet to an extremely robust system such as ACT!  Personally I’m a fan of the Outlook contact management system that comes with the software I already have.  It seems to do everything I could possibly need it to do.  I can enter as much information on a customer as I wish and the system will keep track of every email, appointment and task I have related to that customer without me having to do a darn thing – I like that!

What you need your system to do is obviously the key when choosing a CRM system.  If I needed to track conversations and be able to analyze my customer base and print detailed reports then I could see the need for software such as ACT!, Goldmine, Maximizer, etc. 

Any organization with a sales force needs to have one of these systems in order to allow multiple users to access customer records and keep detailed information on prospects and opportunities.  And, from what I understand, these systems are essential when you need to generate regular reminders that it’s time to contact a customer.  Somehow, when I was in sales, I managed to keep track of all this information manually – looking back I have no idea how we did it!

I have a few thoughts on how to choose the right system:

  1. Keep in mind the complexity of the system and how much time it takes to maintain accurate records.
  2. Base your decision on what you need the system to do for you.
  3. Be certain that the system you choose integrates seamlessly with your email management program, calendar and tasks.
  4. Talk to an expert before making your final choice (check out The Red Group).

All that to say I have now discovered that I am so far from an expert on this subject it’s not even funny.  Perhaps something to add to my professional development list for 2011?

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This past week I spent an amazing morning with a group of women who meet regularly to share ideas on how we can be better at our work as trainers working with adults.

One of our group members did a presentation for us on Adult Learning.  So, here’s the fascinating part of some of the research she did for us.  When you search online for ‘adult learning styles’,  you come up with many models.  Here are a few:

  • Adventurous Learner/Social Learner/Practical Learner/Conceptual Learner
  • Visual/Auditory/Tactile
  • Accomodative Learning Style/Diverging Learning Style/Convergent Learning Style/Assimilating Learning Style
  • Abstract Perceivers/Concrete Perceivers/Reflective Processors/Active Processors
  • Step-by-Step/Social/Curious/Creative
  • Feeling/Doing/Watching/Thinking
  • Auditory/Tactile/Visual/Verbal

All I have to say is, now I’m more confused than ever!  No wonder teaching adults is perceived as such a challenge.  Although we all thought that these models apply to children just as much as adults, perhaps we just don’t have time in the classroom to recognize and teach to all of these styles?

Anyway, now that I’m no more clear than I was before, one thing I am more clear on is the importance of having time to reflect in a training session or workshop.   I am actually practicing reflection as I write this blog.  In an attempt to assimilate what I learned and how I can put it into practice I am writing and talking about what I learned.  However, not all of us are able to reflect about new information in this way.  Some of us need to ‘feel’ or ‘see’ what we have learned. 

During a training session we might benefit from closing our eyes and imagining a picture of what we are learning.  Some of us more creative types might like to act out what we have learned or sing about it. 

As a trainer, the important part of any session is to give participants time to reflect on the information.  I was told at one time that we should stop every 20 mins. and have a quick reflection before moving forward.  The challenge with this is that if you have a limited amount of time and are trying to cover enough subject matter to actually teach something constructive you don’t always have the luxury of doing so.

One thing I have started to do differently over the years is to include much less content in my workshops and give everyone in the session a little time to discuss and digest what we are covering as well as trying to always be aware that we all learn differently and need to be given the chance to do so in our own way.  So, the next time I see someone doodling in a workshop, I will know that they are using that as a technique to reflect on what they are learning.

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