Learning in Reflection 3: Vulnerability leads to courage.

ATD 2016, Day 3 (24 May, 2016):

The third day began with great zeal and excitement. Didn’t happen to sit right at the front, but had a pretty good view. I was absolutely excited for Brene Brown‘s session, she is THE master for teaching courage through vulnerability. For those of you, who don’t know her, she is a best selling author, speaker, storyteller and researcher.

Brene’s book Daring Greatly, among others, has been appreciated by many and her TED talk is one of the top viewed talks of all. 20160524_110702She makes sure she calls herself a researcher storyteller and she sure is that. Her emphasis on storytelling struck a chord with me. I love storytelling in elearning, and in informal learning and even in training. (I love using stories from my life and from my environment, to enable a positive change in teams, organizations and people: guess what, this strategy has been successful 90% of the times). So, which is why, I completely agreed and nodded vehemently, when Brene Brown shared that “narratives lead to a behavior change and our brains are wired for stories.” Storytelling aid information recall, allow us to learn better and actually transform ourselves into our best possible selves.

Brene’s talk resonated with my thought process at multiple levels. I was so thrilled when she emphasized on the fact that behavioral skills, which are key to performance improvement are the hardest to develop. Often these behavioral skills are termed under “soft skills” development but they are essentially the hard skills. [more on that on my email updates, as I will be sending out a great tool for you to measure- how your internal and external behavior influences your life and the people around you.] 🙂 SIGN UP! I’ve extensively talked about Brene’s talk on my twitter handle as well, if you want to check it out.

20160524_130830Once Brene’s talk was over, I headed over to Diane Elkin‘s session on 25 things you didn’t know PowerPoint could do for you! Being in the elearning industry, it is absolutely crucial to make PowerPoint work for you, and it can be used for so much more than just heavy text based, bullet, slides. This was a refreshing and amazing learning experience. Though I must admit I knew about 12 of the tricks, I loved, loved and absolutely loved the remaining 13 I didn’t know.

After Diane’s session I headed to the EXPO hall to check out the great work the exhibitors were doing!  I met some awesome folks yet again and made a couple of really good friends by the end of it (who knew?).

Next in my schedule was, Tim Slade on How to create e-Learning quizzes that engage learners. It was not only a packed session with people literally sitting on the floor but also it was packed with wonderful information that would rock anyone’s eLearning design. 20160524_163557It is definitely a fact that we all love learning but we hate quizzes. Any kind of verbose and boring questions, given during training should be a big – No NO.  There were many brilliant tips that Tim shared and [according to me] one of the most important tip, around which we should create our course quizzes is that: Allow learners to “explore” their learning and assess their own knowledge through exploratory questions. Game based elements in a quiz is a good mechanism to yield the results we desire.

As20160524_184017 the day was coming to an end I had another invigorating session by Victoria Halsey, VP of Ken Blanchard Companies, on Achieving Organizational Results Through Brilliant Instructional Design. She ENGAGEd through her model and through design thinking. It left me thinking: are we actually ‘telling people what to do instead of teaching them how to do it?‘ Instructional design has the power to transform and change behaviors but are we really doing that through the way communicate, design and train? Leaving you with that thought.


Now you tell me, no matter which field you come from – training and development industry or education or any other – have you ever changed behaviors? Whether a behavioral pattern in your team or brought about a change in your personal life, through your communications or instructions or stories or just simple actions? What did you do? What has that experience been like? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook or chat up about this on Twitter.

This Sunday, I am emailing a strategic tool, which will empower you. The tool will enable better understanding of not only yourself, but also help you gather a better understanding of your teams and people around you. So, if you’re not a subscriber yet- sign up here. You’ll love the resources I email!

4 thoughts on “Learning in Reflection 3: Vulnerability leads to courage.

  1. What a lovely post and thanks for introducing me to Brene. I Google her snd checked your link. I also love your question here. I have used genuine compassion and empathy for my team and even in my personal life. It has been very rewarding. Sometimes we need to disconnect from our mentality of being “bosses” or “heads” or “leaders” and simply be compassionate human beings. Once I presented myself as that to my team they were better workers too.


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