training atleast I will try to implement a team spirit in the
respective operations and will try to adopt collective effort...
Overall it was a great learning day."
Life Skills & Training
The World Health Organization and UNICEF
have both accepted and decreed life skills as an integral component of
quality education. It is recognized as a basic learning need.
In fact, WHO recommended a module comprising ten life skills – stress
management, problem solving, communication skills, emotions management,
creative thinking, self-awareness, interpersonal skills, empathy,
decision making, and critical thinking – to incorporate into the
mainstream academic curriculum. (Source: Education World, October 2005).
UNICEF too defines life skills, catalogues studies that have evaluated
skills-based programmes. (Source: www.unicef.org/lifeskills).
In our years of experience in working with and consulting different
corporates as well as providing Training solutions to different
organizations and institutions has enlightened us with the needs of the
professional world. There is a need for a positive and adaptive
behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands
and changes of everyday life.
Read our articles related to Life Skills & Training to enrich your
knowledge towards improving these skills and moving ahead to gain the
power to achieve! Click on the names of articles in the left tab to
~Do you have people in your office
who dislike each other?
~Do they cause problems for everyone else?
~Do these people cause a great degree of discomfort, anger and
frustration in your team?
If the answer to all the above questions is YES…then you and
team are in an uncomfortable zone which is known as CONFLICT.
The dictionary defines "conflict" as a struggle to resist or
overcome opposing forces or powers. It is a state or condition
of discord and unpleasantness.
Can we do away or avoid conflict?
No matter how hard we try to avoid it, conflict resides in every
aspect of our life and conflict in the workplace is a painful
reality. Conflicts in the workplace can range from pay scales to
sexual harassment to favoritism and discrimination. These
conflicts are very obvious and readily identified but the
problem starts with certain forms of conflicts that are not
easily recognized. Small, innocuous but irritating events
occurring repeatedly over time may cause individuals to strike
out at one another.
The goal, therefore, is to recognize the root cause of friction
and tension and to deal with it before it blows up into a major
So it is very clear that, the only way out of conflict is by
going through it.
Now while going through the troubled waters here is a course of
action that would help us navigate.
Identify and acknowledge the conflict
First acknowledge that there is an issue instead of shoving it
under the carpet. Refusing to acknowledge an obvious conflict
only adds fuel to the fire. Take time to evaluate all
information and then take a decision.
Communication: The art of listening
More often than not, conflict results because of
miscommunication between people. So, it is very important that
one should keep listening. Allow the other party to express
their viewpoint and share your perspective.
Try to understand the other party instead of resolving the
conflict by intimidation. Yelling and manipulation may cease the
problem for that moment but the odds are that the problem will
A win/win approach
Instead of battling over opposing solutions or suffering from
the “Do it my way!” syndrome, try and suggest win-win solutions
where both people win and are tied to the solution. They feel
committed to the plan because it actually suits them. Instead of
winning over each other, try to win with each other.
Soft Skills & Soft Selling
Soft Skills has been a subject of
discussion for years, and in today’s world of so called “competition”
soft skills has become an area of interest for many.
Here is where we can look at another term
called “soft selling.” Is there a connection between soft skills and
soft selling? I believe there is a strong connection. And somewhere we
may even try to distinguish these terms from “hard selling.”
In various organizations the stress is on
hard selling. It is a “do it now” approach. Another “short-term” mess.
More often than not the balancing act is missing, wherein today’s
actions become more important than tomorrow’s plan. And all we would
then keep on doing is selling anyway that we can.
Soft selling on the other hand is an art.
It is about building a consistent, strong and long-term business. It is
not about selling today, it is about planning, preparing and building
relationships, which in turn helps you sell, but without the “hardness.”
Being in the Services industry, I have
experienced this first hand. Soft selling never got me instant results,
it took time and effort. But I was never there to sell like a person
whose pants are on fire. I just gave an informed option to my potential
customers. What it means is that I am not selling, I am informing you of
another option that you may try, when you need it.
This has worked for me, without a hint of
doubt. There aren’t immediate sales, however, when orders come in, they
don’t stop! May I also mention here that the quality of your
service/product is taken as of standard here.
So, why does this happen? Well, take for
example a salesman who tries to push sell something to you. Do you like
it? This is hard selling. On the other hand, someone comes to you and
informs you about a service/product, and I mean just informs, and
requests you to contact when you need, or buy right then if you need.
Will that not be a better experience for you?
People trust professionals who “soft sell”
more than those who “hard sell.” So, when you have to choose between the
two, you could try soft selling. And if your pants are really on fire,
try out a balance – hard sell some, soft sell some, you will see how the
fire is doused off in some time just because your soft sell customers
would come back to you and with a lot more than what you would achieve
with hard selling.
Soft skills is all about using the right
behaviour and approach, about understanding others, and about building
relationships. And that is what we do in soft selling. So go ahead, give
it a try.
Time is intangible. Time is a measurement
created by man. Yet time seems to be the most important element in our
I hear, and perhaps say sometimes as well,
expressions like, “I don’t have enough time,” “I am so busy at work that
I cannot spend time with my family,” and “Time flies, time goes away.”
A little analysis of what time is and what
could be “time management” and we would get a common answer. Time
management is nothing but Self-management. Every minute that we have, as
per the clock/watch, can be either utilized or wasted. The utility or
wastage depends on our perception.
For example, watching TV may be a waste of
time to one person, while the other person finds it useful. Or the same
activity could be useful at times, and a waste at other times.
There are certain elements in Time
Management that we may want to consider.
The first element which I believe is the
foundation of managing time is planning. There are too many people who
jump into action without a proper plan, and they end up wasting more
time covering for mistakes made due to lack of planning. Life and work
has two dimensions, a short-term (like the 100 metres race) and a
long-term (like the 800 metres race or even the marathon) one. The more
we plan, the more we prepare and run “marathons.”
Planning takes time and patience. It may
seem that we are losing time when planning, but it is better than trying
to amend mistakes, which generally takes longer, or sometimes even
re-start the task because of a blunder.
To-Do Lists / Calendars
These lists are extremely important. They
remind us what we need to do everyday, and we can do our follow-ups on
time. I have seen most people trying to maintain this list, however,
many don’t as well.
Any To-Do List will have numerous
activities. So we need to prioritize them. A could stand for high
priority (urgent and important), B could stand for medium priority
(important but not very urgent), and C could stand for low priority
(important but not urgent). Of course, we also need to stop doing things
which are neither urgent nor important.
Procrastination is a tendency of delaying
work because one does not want to do it or does not like it. Many time
we procrastinate on work which is long and takes a lot of time to do.
The best strategy here is to “Break it Down.” It means breaking the long
task into smaller bits, which can be done within a shorter duration. So
we can set short and small targets and keep achieving them. This gives
us motivation to continue with the rest of the parts. Everytime we
complete one part of the task, we feel we are heading closer to the
final target, which we are.
This is a simple activity where we analyse
how we use our time everyday and every week. Right from eating to
sleeping to our work, if we can analyse in detail how much time we spend
on each activity, we would know which ones to cut down, and which
activities should get more of our time.
Many people realize that they spend so
much time gossiping during work hours, and also smoking, that they are
unable to complete their work on time. So they stretch beyond office
hours, and feel that they are unable to spend time with family.
There could be many other points that we
can think of. However, if we can just do these basics as suggested
above, we can definitely “get more time” to do things we want rather
than doing those we don’t want to do.
Stages of Team Development
Whenever you join a new
organization, or change projects/departments, you end up being part of a
new team. This team may consist of many new members, or you may be one
of the few new team members. In any case, your challenge is to smoothly
get integrated as part of this team.
I call it a challenge as
there are various factors that make it difficult to simply join in and
start working without obstacles. That is when knowledge on teamwork
helps. Our awareness of team dynamics and the various stages of team
development takes us through the challenging steps, and finally to the
stage of performance.
Let us look at the stages of team development.
When a new team is formed,
this stage is referred to as the Forming Stage. Can you recall your
first day at school as a child, or perhaps your first day on a new job?
Everyone is polite, overly cautious, and generally doesn't know what to
In the Forming stage, team
members are getting to know one another and getting comfortable with one
another. Members will try to understand their own roles, the roles of
the other team members and their purpose in the group. This is entirely
natural and to be expected. People are unsure, suspicious and nervous.
Characteristics of Forming
Look for the following
behaviors in the Forming stage:
• Members trying to define
• Lofty, conceptual discussions as people try to express who they are.
• Discussions about what information needs to be gathered.
How to Address the Forming Stage
• Help team members get to
know one another.
• Make sure the purpose and task are clearly defined and share
management expectations of the group.
• Give the team time to get comfortable with one another, but move the
team along as well.
Once the team works
together for a while, they will leave the Forming stage and enter
Storming. Politeness begins to wear off and dissension occurs over basic
mission and operating procedures. Control often becomes the primary
issue. Who is going to decide what? Disagreements can be either very
obvious or subtle.
Storming is the most difficult stage for a team to weather, but it is
necessary for healthy team development. When team members begin to trust
one another enough to air differences, this signals readiness to work
Look for the following
behaviors in the storming stage:
• Members begin to show
their true styles.
• A growing impatience will surface over lack of progress.
• Members will get into one another's territory, causing irritation.
• General disagreement over process, task and overall purpose of the
How to Address the Storming Stage
• Don't ignore the
• Acknowledge it with the team as a natural developmental step.
• Facilitators should surface the conflicts and address them.
This is a good time to review ground rules, revisit the purpose and
related administrative matters of the team.
When teams recognize their
differences and have dealt with them, they move to Norming, the stage
when they ask, "How are we going to accomplish our work?" Beyond the
politeness and nervousness of Forming and past the issues and concerns
of Storming, teams will want to review how they are functioning. As team
members learn to work out their differences and emotional conflicts are
reduced, they will have more time and energy to focus on their purpose.
Characteristics of Norming
Look for the following
behaviors in the norming stage:
• Ground rules and formal
procedures that may have been overlooked in the beginning are now taken
• The team will want to discuss items more; less time will be spent on
idea generation, and more on decision making.
• Members will want to limit agenda items to focus on specific topics.
• Subgroups may be formed to move along faster.
• Conflicts are addressed and resolved.
How to Address the Norming Stage
• At this stage, the team
has PROCESS down fairly well.
• TASK will take on new significance as the team will want to accomplish
Forming, Storming, Norming, then Performing, the final stage of team
development. Performing teams are just that, a highly effective,
problem-solving unit that can reach solutions quickly and can even head
off issues before they become problems.
Characteristics of Performing
A team in the performing stage will:
• Be productive. Tasks will be accomplished, and the team will look for
more to do.
• Be pro-active, and not necessarily wait for direction from management.
• Demonstrate loyalty to the group, and respect individual dissension
How to Address the Performing Stage
• Teams at the performing level are generally self-regulating.
• Road maps, processes, decision making and other matters of team
management will be handled independently by the team.
Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing - Then What?
Teams do not develop as neatly and sequentially as these stages imply.
Teams can cycle from one stage to another relatively easily or get stuck
in one stage. Some people may have the unpleasant experience of being on
a team that disbanded because the team never progressed past the
Therefore, as a new team member, or even as an existing team member, our
awareness of the stages helps us in dealing with the situations in
different stages. We can also educate the team members on how these
stages are to be tackled.
I have facilitated training programs both for new teams as well as
existing teams. The general challenges faced that I have observed are
primarily related to knowing and relating, and lack of knowledge on the
stages of team development. When team members become aware of these and
methods to counter the challenges, the working becomes smoother, and the
relationships between team members improve.
So, go ahead, build a performing team!
Everyday we face different situations in life, both at work and at
home, that may not match our expectations. There are times we feel
overwhelmed by some of these situations. What we experience as a
result may be termed as stress.
There could be numerous reasons why stress occurs. However, there
are definitely ways to beat the stress as well. This is what we mean
by managing stress.
There is a story about a carpenter who used to work very well. He
was efficient in his work, and customers liked him for his positive
and happy nature. It happened once that a customer decided to pick
the carpenter from his home and drop him back again at the end of
the day. When he went to pick up the carpenter, he saw the carpenter
stopping infront of a tree near his house. He said something and
then walked up to the waiting car of the customer. When he was
dropped back home that evening, he again stopped infront of the tree
and then walked towards his house.
The customer was not sure what the carpenter did infront of the
tree, so the next morning he asked the customer, “If you don’t mind
my inquisitiveness, I wonder what you do infront of that tree every
morning and evening.”
The carpenter smiled and replied, “Oh, that’s my trouble tree.” He
explained that everyday when he went back home he “hung” his
troubles of work on that tree, and every morning when he left home
for work, he picked those troubles again from the tree.
“Interestingly”, he said, “the troubles seem to disappear every
morning when I go to pick them up!”
This story is about the “mind” of a human being. The first and best
method to manage stress is to be able to manage our thoughts. A
positive mind would be able to manage stress very well. Most of the
times we tend to worry about numerous things, mostly about the
consequences of actions, and what may happen in the future. The
results in the future may be good or bad, but we mostly think about
the worst, and what we worry about does not happen most of the
Another thought process that hampers our mind is dwelling on the
problems. A good way out is to first change our thinking from
“problems” to “challenges.” A problem seems to be negative, a
challenge on the other hand is positive and needs action. So if we
concentrate on the solutions, we tend to be more optimistic, and
therefore, less stressed.
Another exercise related to the mind that helps us cope with stress
is “Visualisation.” Its about closing your eyes, and while you take
slow, deep breathes, you visualize positive events that have
happened in your life. It gives you more confidence, and makes you
happy. You feel relaxed.
There are also many other activities that helps us manage stress.
For example, physical exercise and going to the gym to workout, or
even yoga is a good way. Keeping yourself involved with a pet is
Eating chocolates (don’t eat too much though) helps, as well as
relaxation exercises, or even going for a holiday, or taking some
time out to spend it on your own, away from the busy humdrum of
Whichever way you look at it, stress begins and ends with the mind.
So the best possible exercise that helps you to manage stress is the
exercise of the mind. Be positive, stay cheerful and happy, and keep
Industrial Age we have now entered the Information Age. Education is
very important today, but is the education given in school adequate
to face the real world and its challenges? The job requirements
today actually demand much more than just textbook knowledge.
A few decades back
one could get school education and maybe a college degree and get a
secure job and work in the same company throughout life. After
retirement there was pension to take care of old age. While entering
a job one knew exactly what benefits one would get for the whole job
tenure and after retirement.
Today it is
altogether a different story. The phrase ‘job security’ no longer
exists. Formal education is not enough. Job switching is a
continuous process. Companies are no more responsible for providing
retirement benefits. Let me rather put it this way; you’d have to
find how you will sustain yourself throughout life.
In short, good
grades no more guarantee good jobs. Therefore it is time to realize
this fact and take active steps. The problem does have a solution.
The solution can
definitely be applied at all levels, but it would have maximum
effect if begun at a very low level. Let me explain. What I mean by
levels is mental maturity, or to simplify it I would consider age
groups. It is easier to apply the grooming process at a younger age
than an older age. This does not take away anything from the older
people, but we will definitely agree that the older we get the more
difficult it gets to change our beliefs and our way of thinking.
Younger minds can be moulded better and easier.
employment scenario is changing fast, our education system has still
remained with old ideas and patterns. We know about educational
breakthroughs and required changes, but for some reason or the other
innovation in formal education does not seem to take place. Moreover
I believe there are three types of teachers in our system. One
teaches diligently and takes care of students and tries to bring
about positive changes, one works diligently against any kind of
change, and the third one does not bother about anything other than
their own job security and money. The first type of teacher has now
become as rare as precious gems.
So what do we do
now? Should we lose all hope of any improvement and let pressure and
stress engulf us? Should we just watch more and more students
committing suicide as they are unable to keep up to expectations? I
don’t think we can afford to give up. We absolutely should not give
up. There is always a solution to every problem. First we need to
study the problem thoroughly and the solution will automatically
For example, we
might be worried about not finding diligent, caring teachers. But
then I have always believed that parents are the most important
teachers. Children learn most by observing their parents.
Coming back to the
problem of education not being adequate we will find that the
solution lies in the mind. That is the most powerful thing God has
given us. If we look into the word ‘education’ we will see that it
comes from a Latin word ‘educare’, which means ‘to draw out’. But
our system of ‘education’ believes in putting knowledge ‘in’. What
we rather need to do is draw the genius ‘out’ of the mind for
utilization. Now the question arises, “How do we do that?” I would
again say, the answer lies in the mind itself!
Let us see how the
education system affects the students. I am not talking about the
details, I am concerned with the basics. Teachers punish pupils for
making mistakes. Now, if you are afraid of making mistakes you will
not want to do anything for fear of getting punished. There is too
much emphasis on the importance of being right and the fear of being
wrong. This fear prevents people from taking active steps. Here is
where we begin with our solution. Parents play a big role in
encouraging their children and prevent this unwanted fear to creep
in. we need to inculcate a positive attitude towards education. This
is the first step towards improvement.
It is my personal
belief that there are two important factors in becoming successful.
Human Relations Skills and Communication Skills give the winning
edge to each individual. There are very few people who actually
realise the importance of these two skills, let alone possess them!
The solution that
we were discussing lies in these two skills – Human Relations Skills
and Communication Skills. These give us the ‘right attitude’. Let me
elaborate. With a positive attitude we can work our minds in the
right direction which in turn will carve the way to success and
happiness. On the same lines, communicating with people and building
human relations skills gets incorporated into our positive attitude.
So, how do we build a positive attitude?
Let us first study
the prevalent ‘negativeness’ and why it is absolutely necessary to
get rid of all ‘minuses’ and fill in all the ‘pluses’.
How often do we
hear comments such as ‘I can’t do it’, ‘That’s impossible!’, ‘You
have to kill yourself to do that’, ‘Forget it, its not my cup of
tea’, ‘I can’t afford that car’? Very often indeed! Even these are
familiar comments, ‘If you don’t study you will fail’, ‘Its going to
rain today, the day will be a waste’, ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I am
People spend too
much time in speaking negative statements. Their self-perception is
that of a weak, incapable, good-for-nothing person. This is where
the downfall begins. But let’s cut the negative. What is most
important to get rid of such negative thinking? Just one thing –
BELIEF, belief in yourself, and belief in your Creator.
The power of
belief is tremendous. When we believe we cannot, we are unable, just
because we don’t try when we believe we cannot. On the other hand,
if we use the power of ‘I Can!’ we try to find possibilities to do
it. I will give you an example. I am a person who belongs to a
middle-class family. I look at a small family car and I want to buy
it. I realise I do not have the financial strength to buy the car.
What do I immediately say to myself? I say ‘I can’t afford it’. This
is what all of us say, no matter what the product is. If we don’t
have the money we simply put it off by saying, ‘I can’t afford it’.
This is the magic of words. The moment you say ‘I can’t’ you have a
resigned feeling and drop the idea, but deep within you regret, and
this regret causes that little invisible sorrow and pain and stress.
Enough of this!
Let us use the
magic of words differently. Let us try. The same person looks at the
same car and realises that he does not have the money to buy it. But
instead of resigning to the problem he tries to find a solution. So
he asks himself, ‘How can I afford it?’ Think about this for a
moment. You look at a product you want to buy and you don’t have the
money, and ask yourself the question, ‘How can I afford it?’
What happens? The
mind starts working, trying to find out possibilities. This is the
difference between negative and positive. The results are
contrasting. This is where we need to begin. We need to change our
self-perception and start believing that we can achieve what we
want, and with God by our side we can only win!
Before I move on,
I must mention that school and college education is important. This
is the basic need. The fundamental learning skills have to be built.
But in order to succeed in life today the other piece of the puzzle
is required. Education needs to be complete.
missing piece of
the puzzle that I am talking about is within us. Galileo had
remarked, “You cannot teach a person anything, you can only help him
find it within himself”. That is ‘educare’, as in Latin, which, as I
have mentioned previously, means ‘to draw out’. Developing attitude
is all about polishing and fine tuning the skills which are already
present within us. Courage, confidence, kindness, empathy, belief,
faith, name it and you have it within you. You only have to draw it
out and then you will be able to utilize these qualities to achieve
the highest in life.
Life, Success and Happiness
The rational faculty of human beings is the key to our sense of
purpose and fulfillment. There are many factors, such as disease,
pain, distress, tragedy and natural disasters, that might cause
individuals to wish not to be alive, but it is definitely worth
being born and worth living for the acquisition of knowledge and the
insights which it offers into the nature of the universe and
mankind's place in it, as is the view shared by Anagoras, Aristotle
and Plato. As even Albert Einstein had put, in a newspaper interview
given in 1929 while discussing relative theory, that only now we
know that the same force that moves electrons in their ellipses
about the nuclei of atoms moves our earth in its annual courses
around the sun and brings us the rays of light and heat which makes
life possible on this planet.
Aristotle believed that human beings have a function to fulfill in
their lives, which has to do with their proper use of the rational
principal, a quality unique to mankind, and not possessed by either
plants or animals. He also argues that when human beings perform
excellently whatever takes fall to them then it may be said that
they are demonstrating an activity of soul in accordance with the
rational principal and so in accordance also with virtue. As a
result, they may be said to be living good lives from which
happiness will grow.
The search for knowledge and the development of the rational faculty
also form part of man's perception of his purpose in living as do
the desire to be happy, to experience pleasure and to achieve
fulfillment in those ways deemed valuable within particular social
groups or cultures. New born children are not, of course, born into
an uninhabited desert, but into societies and into a world already
fully defined by the dominant values of each particular society
against which life has always to be lived.
DREAM AS IF YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER
LIVE AS IF YOU WILL DIE TODAY
Life is a journey. We follow different paths but with the purpose of
attaining certain ultimate objectives. With utmost passion, desire,
hard work, commitment, determination and persistence it is possible
to take responsibilities and reach the goals set by individuals. The
quest for knowledge, and then the application of
intelligence provides the basis for success.
The inner psychological characteristics in an individual determine
the attitude. Personality is unique, and it is an integral part of
an individual. Personality may change, though, due to certain
influences, desires or happenings. It may also alter during gradual
maturing process of individuals.
The most important aspect of attitude development is positive
thinking. Looking forward towards high growth and challenges and
dealing with every obstacle with confidence is the key to achieve
all goals in life. Helping people, encouraging others and positively
trying to improve oneself as well as others is the biggest necessity
for success today. Instead of wasting time on trivial matters and
playing a blame game any individual can concentrate on the important
aspect of his/her personality and create a difference. The change
that anyone wants in this world should be that person
himself/herself. Individuals who respect ethical and moral values
and practice perseverance and dedication with a strong urge to
succeed achieve the highest point in life.
WHAT WE ARE IS GOD'S GIFT TO US
WHAT WE BECOME IS OUR GIFT TO GOD
Communications is a beautiful art which man has been able to develop
with the brilliant assistance of his reasoning faculty. Man has been
able to put words to what earlier used to be purely signs and
sounds. Today it is a combination of all of these. It has unlimited
scope and is a field in itself. It has taken different forms and
have been given different names, but ultimately it remains the same.
From the time a baby is born it begins to communicate. I know it
sounds pretty odd when reading about a just-born child communicating
- but it is a fact. A mother understands the baby's needs and wants
very well and most often they are best of friends. Yes,
communications begin from the moment a life steps into this world.
It continues throughout childhood, teenage years, adulthood, till
death. Life is nothing but a span of time spent in communicating.
Death? How do we understand when a person is dead. Do you realise
that we communicate till death? When the body does not move, there
is no breathe, the brain and/or the heart stops functioning, we
consider the person to be dead - the final communication through
Although the normal communication process is there in every human
being, today's world demands more than just that. Those who have
realised that life is all about rising high and making a mark have
also considered the fact that it is very important to be able to
place forward and also understand different ideas and concepts. The
intelligence that is present with every human mind needs to be
applied in order to rise above the common mass. This is where
communications plays a vital role. If you think about getting a job
the need to prepare for interview would arise. Once you get a job
the need to present yourself well arises to secure promotions. But
once you reach higher posts the need to interact with individuals of
different levels arises. Nothing can be done without communications.
No business would survive without it. If INTELLIGENCE is the brain,
COMMUNICATIONS is the heart. The realisation of this, the
development of understanding, the application of intelligence,
creative communications alongwith hard work, commitment,
determination, desire and perseverance can definitely help to attain
Corporate Training Essentials - A 7 Step Process
Education and Training has been an area of great interest to me for
quite some time now. And as I started looking at how corporates approach
Training & Development, I felt there is a lot to be done to improve. The
fundamentals could be implemented to improve the training standards in
Any training should atleast start with a simple
TNI/TNA (Training Needs Identification / Analysis) process. I would
always recommend a thorough analysis to get the best results. I have
seen how when this is not done, it affects the faith and trust of
employees on the training department of an organization. The
employees are the customers for the training department, and as such
for good customer service here, the training department must
understand the needs of their customers in the first place.
I tried a simple method once of meeting a couple of teams in an
organization to do an analysis of their needs. There were 7 steps
A detailed discussion with each individual in the team, including
the manager of the team, on their work tasks and the skills required
for each task. Personal development needs were also listed by each
A Subject wise list of Trainings was listed (some common topics
and those based on the skills listed by them in Step 1) and each
individual rated their need for each of the listed items. They could
also add to this list at this stage.
Analysis by the Training Consultant on the Top 5 Training Needs
of the Team.
Discussion with the Manager of the team to select and prioritise
the Top 5 training topics. Here the Manager’s suggestions and advice
were taken regarding specific issues listed by each individual on
those topics in Step 1. This is a comprehensive stage of discussions
to get as much information and as many solutions possible which are
related to the work areas of the team on those topics. Other seniors
and stakeholders could also be consulted at this stage.
Design and Development of Training Program. Relevant examples,
activities and role-plays/simulations are essential ingredients for
the training program.
Delivery of the Training Program. Special care needs to be taken
by the trainer to answer all questions of the participants. The
trainer needs to be fully aware about the work areas of the team,
and if required, the manager of the team could also be present
during the training, or atleast during the question answer session
at the end of the training program.
Post Training Evaluation – Kirkpatrick’s 4 Stage Evaluation
method could be used here.
If, and only if, this process of starting with analyzing specific
training needs and ending with Post Training Evaluation is followed,
that we would be able to see visible results of training. The
Training Consultant here should also learn from the process and
improve and customize every step as required by the organization and
its needs. It would be a good idea to analyse individual needs, team
needs, manager’s perception and organizational needs. Together these
would give us a common ground and tell us which areas of skills
development would benefit all and would result in better performance
I wish we could do this at every level of education and training,
starting from schools to every other level. Life skills and work
skills required by the industries could be a good starting point for
analysis of needs for education in schools and colleges. However, it
would be a little easier to implement this process in companies for