People Skills Training Resources

The month of June is recognized as “International People Skills Month.”  In today’s work climate, especially in the non-profit sector and the human service field, strong soft skills are vital to both the organizations and the people we serve. People skills that are needed to succeed in the workplace today include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Getting along with others
  • Active listening skills.

In recognition of “people skills month,” I have added links below that will help you in creating training activities, ice-breakers, and exercises that will reinforce learning in the areas of active listening, diversity, teambuilding and communication.

Active Listening Activities

6 Listening Skills Exercises to Promote Stronger Communication-Udemy

50 Communication Activities, Icebreakers, and Exercises- Peter R. Garber

Active Listening games for Adults-ehow

Communication and Listening Exercise- Energize Learning Blog

Listening Games for Adults-Buzzle

Diversity

10 Team Building Activities that Bring a Diverse Workplace Together-takeflyte.com

Diversity Ideas & Activities for the Workplace- Chron

Diversity Training Activities in the Workplace- Chron.com

Workplace Diversity Games-ehow

Teambuilding

10 Quick and Easy Team Building Exercises (Huddle) Part 1

10 Quick and Easy Team Building Exercises (Huddle) Part 2

15 Fun Team Building Exercises- Tweak Your Biz

15 Teambuilding Activities for the Workplace (About Money)

Business Balls.com

Mindtools

Teampedia.net

Team Building Activities for Adults

Team Building Directory

Teamwork Games to Engage Employees at Work (Refresh Leadership)

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Using a Facilitator’s Checklist

facilitator logo

According to Merriam-Webster, a facilitator is defined as, one that helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect or unobtrusive guidance.

In the learning and development world, facilitating is often used as a way to move a discussion and allow the participant to have more control over their own learning. Although often interchanged with “training”, a facilitator generally serves the role of providing leadership, structure and feedback to the group. Facilitation often occurs during high level training such as teambuilding and strategic planning.

The key to any effective facilitation is to move the discussion both efficiently and effective. I created a “cheat sheet” that will help you to stay on track during the facilitation process.

Key Points to Remember

  • Make sure you are the first one to arrive
  • Maintain a high energy level
  • Summarize. Summarize. Summarize.

facilitator checklist

facilitation checklist

 

How to Create a Mission Statement For Your Training Department

missioglobe

Do you have a mission statement for your training department? Well, you should. A mission statement serves the purpose of describing the beliefs and values of an organization and to help employees understand why the organization exists.

Training departments function to support the goals of the organization by enhancing job performance and identifying the required training needs of each employee. So why create a mission statement for your training department? There are many advantages to creating a mission statement including:

  • Improving the strategic alignment between the training department and the organization
  • Helping to prioritize the needs of both the organization and the training department.
  • The ability to quantify and assess the effectiveness of any training developed by the department.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Read your organization’s mission statement. The training department mission statement should align with that of your organization. Your alignment should also include reviewing the beliefs, values and priorities. Further questions should include: How does the training department fit into the big picture?
  • The next step will be working on the mission statement. In order to write an effective mission statement, here are some questions to ask: Why does your department exist? Who are you training?  and how will you evaluate the training?
  • Keep your mission statement short. An effective mission statement is generally 1-2 sentences that should contain action words and is quantifiable. The mission statement should answer the following questions, what do you do, and why do you do it?
  • Obtain input from other people including the stakeholders, other departments including HR and employees.
  • Revise your mission statement when necessary

Once completed, don’t forget to celebrate!

Do you currently have a training department mission statement? I would love to hear from you!

Storing Training Supplies

heading.caddie

Ice-breakers, games and energizers are a great way to reinforce skills and to also provide immediate feedback. I am a true believer that the learning process should be fun and engaging. Organizing the tools that I use for games and activities on the other hand, has been quite challenging. I have made many attempts to find the best way to organize training supplies in a manner which would be easy to use. In the past, I have tried many different ways of organizing training materials including planning ahead by putting out enough supplies for the number of people expected. However, this did not always work especially when additional people would show up for the training.
basketI decided the best way to solve this problem was to find a storage bin that I would be able to prepare in advance and put away with ease. On a visit to a local teacher supply store, I came across these caddies. Right away I knew they would be perfect. I love that the caddies are available in an assortment of colors including green, orange, purple, blue and black.
Training supplies that I generally use on a regular basins includes pens, pencils and markers which fit nicely into the caddy.

pens1

pens2

 

markers1 I also include index cards and post-its as a way for people to write down any questions they may have or a way to engage people during a training activity.

indec cards

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 A few examples on  ways of using the caddies:
This caddies includes markers, scissors and post-its for a group depending on the size of the group, I may have baskets that are identical for a general exercise but if the activity is more of a creative exercise, the caddies may differ.
caddiesample This caddie includes pens, markers tape, rubber bands and index cards my goal is always to make the activity as much fun as possible.
I also like that the caddies are stackable which makes it easy to put away. It is also easy to transport if you conduct trainings at multi-sites
Where to Purchase
There are a number of places where these caddies can be found. I mentioned earlier that I was able to locate them at a teacher supply store and most places offer the option of purchasing online or in person.
School Outlet- 4 in a pack for $11.45
Lakeshore Learning- 6 piece for 29.99
Dollar Tree-24 minimum for $24.00 (a case)

 

 

Serving Snacks During Training Sessions

 

serving snacks head

The Staff Trainer’s Blog

 

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to focus on the importance of making healthy informed food choices. This is so tough for me especially when I am constantly on the run. Between conducting trainings and attending meetings, every once in a while, I feel the need to grab something quick to snack on and according to my scale the vending machine is not my friend!

Most trainings, seminars and conferences that I have attended seem to have a direct connection to food. Water is typically served at larger venues, while smaller workshops that I have attended tend to include continental breakfast or lunch. I have learned over the years that there is no greater motivator while conducting trainings than food and as a learning and development professional, it is often a balancing act in merging the two together.

Most States offer standards in providing healthful choices when serving food at meetings or events. Here in the State of New York, guidelines allow for serving snacks including mixed nuts, air-popped popcorn with light seasoning, water and an assortment of fresh fruits such as apples and pears.

So if you are on a budget like me, what are the best snacks to offer that are both filling and nutritious?

Trailmix- Most Trailmix snacks tend to offer a combination of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate. Trailmix is a snack that can be bought in bulk and is easy to store. It also provides a quick energy boost and is great to serve during the midday and late afternoon when most participants start to get tired.

trail mix

trailmix chips

Almonds-Almonds can also be purchased in bulk and there are many health benefits of eating almonds including relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, anemia and protects the artery walls from damage.

almonds

Pretzels- This is a snack that comes with iron, zinc and folate and is low in fat. The downside is that the sodium is high, so it should only be offered in moderation

pretzils2

Water- saving the best for last, water has so many great benefits including controlling count calories, helps in digestion and constipation, flushes out toxins and relieves fatigue. If possible, water should be offered throughout the day.

Do you offer any snacks that are not on the list? Would love to hear from you.

 

 

Book of the Month

book month logo

As workplace learning and development professionals, we spend most of our time improving the performance levels of employees and organizations. However, in order for us to stay current on the latest trends and resources we must continue to read and study on a regular basis.

It is for this reason that I created a book of the month club. each month I will introduce a workplace learning or performance book to read and discuss. A new book will be introduced the fourth Wednesday of each month. During the third Wednesday of each month, I will write a review and hope you join me in sharing your thoughts and opinions on each book. I will also include in future readings books that are both motivational and inspirational.

The first book that I have chosen is the Trainer’s Handbook. trainers handbook2 It is a great book to start with since it serves as a comprehensive book on a variety of training topics which could benefit both new and seasoned workplace learning professionals. This book can be found on Amazon.com. Here is a description of the book on Amazon.com:

The Trainer’s Handbook walks readers step by step through the training process and contains tips on assessing the needs of participants. Keeping training learner-centered, incorporating activities into training, selecting audiovisual aids, and closing sessions creatively. As practical as it is instructive, the guide is filled with worksheets, checklists, and assessments.

I am ready to start reading, How about you?