Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I am an ESTJ

I took the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test today as part of a train-the-trainer session. According to the test, I am Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging (ESTJ). ESTJs are also called The Guardian or The Supervisor.

A brief description
:
ESTJs tend to be energetic, outspoken, friendly, and productive. They make sure that things get done, having firm standards that assist them in running things. They are often campus leaders and prefer traditional leadership styles. They can achieve a tremendous amount when given room to be in charge and when others cooperate. Their talents lie in bringing order, structure, and completion. Efficient organizers, ESTJs are adept at getting things done efficiently while taking care of routine details. They are opinionated, honest, and direct to the point, sometimes being too blunt. Other words to describe an ESTJ include practical, realistic, matter-of-fact, traditional, and accountable.

Detailed descriptions:

http://www.personalitypage.com/ESTJ.html
http://www.typelogic.com/estj.html
http://www.e-mbti.com/estj.php

Other than a few exceptions, I am pretty much an ESTJ.

Best Practices: Using Webex for Online Collaboration

  • Find out if all members of the audience know how to use Webex. If not, train them on the basics and the specific features they would need to use to collaborate in your session. For example, if they need to use the whiteboard, show them how prior to the session.
  • Send the URL and log in steps prior to the meeting.
  • Teleconference details (if required) should be sent along with the log in information. This ensures that all relevant information pertaining to the session is provided in a single email.
  • Keep the password for the session short, easy to remember and easy to spell out over phone.
  • Advise the clients that installation of Webex software would take about 2-3 minutes before they are initiated into the session.
  • Be well-prepared to conduct the session in the absence of the Webex tool:
  1. Plan for technical snags (which occur occasionally in online collaboration tools) by sending the presentation and supporting material to the audience ahead of the meeting.
  2. Be sure to have contact numbers of the key audience members for easy coordination.
  • Sometimes the presentation progresses at different speeds in different locations. For example, the presenter in San Francisco might be at slide 9, the client in New York City at slide 8 and the team in Bangalore at slide 4. Keep this possibility in mind while making the presentation and while moving from one slide to the next. Ensure your audience is always at the same page (literally).
  • Keep the documents you want to share ready.
  • Close your chat windows to avoid distraction while presenting (you can chat with your audience from the Webex environment).
  • Remember to close unnecessary windows especially if you plan to share your desktop.
  • Record the session, if required. Make sure your clients know that you are recording before the session begins. Recording sessions in Webex is fairly simple. For many of my projects, the alpha and beta testing sessions were recorded because we wanted to thoroughly cover all client feedback (This recording was always in addition to the client input recorded manually in a standard excel sheet format.)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Courseware Localization

Brainvisa's RapideL product enables SCORM compliant rapid eLearning development in 22 languages. No, I am not advertising RapileL since I haven't used the product. I am just happy to learn that there are localization products focussed on elearning in the market.

A few years ago, I worked on an elearning course that needed to be localized in 15 different languages. This project not only threw up design challenges in building a course in multiple languages and geographies (which was fun) but also brought in a sizeable communication overhead in working with the external vendor.

With localization products, hopefully the focus would remain on designing sexy courseware in multiple languages.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Current Work Profile

In my current work profile, I handle training challenges that fast-growing technology companies face in terms of upskilling and reskilling. As a training manager, I consult, market and implement various learning solutions within the organization. The learning interventions cover a range of solutions such as elearning, classroom training, blended learning, mentoring, coaching and on-the-job training. I get a realtime view on how different learning solutions are received in an actual work environment and its impact on the target audience.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Informal Training within the Organization

I realized that the informal trainings/knowledge transfer sessions in my organization are sometimes not effective despite the best intention of the facilitator. I find that many presenters (irrespective of their seniority) need help in structuring their training sessions.

I have decided to offer help to those who are interested. I just need to warn those who come to be a little open about the inputs they receive-I tend to be very detailed in my review. I was helping an employee today and I found that he was getting rather defensive as I went about giving my recommendations on the changes he could make. I am curious to find out how his session went.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Learning Retention

It is well known that active learners learn better. More the number of sense organs employed in learning, better the retention. People generally remember:
10 percent of what they read
20 percent of what they hear
30 percent of what they see
50 percent of what they hear and see
70 percent of what they say and write
90 percent of what they do and talk about

This thought is exemplified by the unique learning style of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. He had very little formal schooling and was mostly self-taught. Abraham Lincoln read aloud the newspaper everyday (see, speak, hear). This habit enabled him to remember what he read, improve his language skills and overcome his speech disorder to become one of the best orators of all times.