Practice Notes - February 2006
March Tea and Toast learning session
If you haven't attended one yet, then come along to one of our Tea and Toast hour-long sessions. They're free and open to everyone. This is our first one for 2006.
March - How to use humour to improve your team
We're still researching and training in the area of humour at work. And with everyone back at work and maybe looking for a boost after the holidays, an injection of humour may be just what your team needs. Learn some practical tips and humour concepts.
Date: Tuesday 7 March 2006
Time: 8am - 9am
Venue: Boardroom, Level 5, Newspaper House, 93, Boulcott Street (This is not the Dominion Post Building)
Speaker: Hilary Bryan
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to come. All welcome and no charge.
Our new telephone numbers
We've changed our telephone numbers. Our new numbers are:
04 472 6225 - Office and Training Administrator, Katherine Murphy
04 472 6220 - Hilary Bryan, Director
Traps in decision making
The January edition of the Harvard Business Network is devoted to decision making. One useful article by Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa examines The Hidden Traps of Decision Making.
Here are three they identify and what you can do about them.
a) The Anchoring Trap: the mind gives disproportionate weight to the first information it receives.
Overcome this by:
always viewing a problem from different perspectives
thinking about a problem alone before getting others' ideas
getting information and ideas from a variety of people
not anchoring your advisors by giving them you're your own ideas or solutions
b) The Sunk Cost Trap: we make choices that support our past choices, even when they are no longer valid.
Overcome this by:
seeking out and listening to the views of people who weren't involved in the original decision
examine why admitting to an earlier mistake distresses you
don't cultivate a failure-fearing culture
c) The Framing Trap: how you frame the decision to be made can radically alter your thinking.
Overcome this by:
not automatically accepting the original frame of the issue, even if you formulated it
posing problems in three different ways
challenge others with different frames.
How effective is your training?
One very useful model to bear in mind when you are considering any training is Kirkpatrick's model of evaluation. It helps you decide what you want to achieve and how you will measure whether or not you have achieved it.
He has four levels as follows.
Level 1 Evaluation - Reactions
This level measures how participants react to training. It attempts to answer questions about participants' perceptions: Did they like it? Was the material relevant to their work? This type of evaluation is often called a "smile sheet." Every programme should at least be evaluated at this level, so it can be improved. Also, participants' reactions have important consequences for learning (level two). Although a positive reaction does not guarantee learning, a negative reaction almost certainly reduces its possibility.
Level 2 Evaluation - Learning
To assess learning, level two evaluations often use pretests and post tests. This moves evaluation beyond learner satisfaction and attempts to assess the extent participants have advanced in skills, knowledge, or attitude. Measurement is more difficult and laborious than level one. Methods range from formal to informal testing to team assessment and self-assessment.
Level 3 Evaluation - Transfer
This level measures behaviour change after a training programme. Evaluating at this level attempts to answer the question: Are the newly acquired skills, knowledge, or attitudes being used? For us this level represents the truest assessment of a programme's effectiveness. But measuring at this level is difficult. It is not always possible to predict when changes in behaviour will happen.
Level 4 Evaluation - Results
Level four evaluation tires to assess training in terms of business results. For example, sales increase or processes are changed. A clear return on training investment can be measured. Often thought of as the bottom line, this level measures training success in terms of things like increased production, improved quality, stronger teams or greater effectiveness. Measuring training results in financial terms, at level four, is a challenge.
We mostly aim for level three evaluation with our training.