Learning & Training Pros – A Few Words From Bob Pike on Your Personal Development

a man holding up a sign that says training in front of a chalkboard with doodles of arrows
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Training professionals always strive to refine the art and science of this noble trade. Training as a profession is, in many ways, still in its infancy throughout the world. For the past 35 years, I’ve spent three to eight weeks working outside of the United States, and on every trip, I’m reminded that many of the training skills and tactics we routinely understand and apply in the United States fall into the category of new and remarkable elsewhere.

This experience, coupled with the increasing number of foreign visitors who attend the annual conference sponsored by the Association of Talent Development, assures me that American training professionals truly have much to offer the world. But I am also aware, because of my work throughout the United States, that many of us here are neglecting to learn and practice some of the basic “art and science” of training.

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There’s More to Learn

I’m not looking to embarrass or intimidate anyone; nor am I looking to applaud anyone for how much they know. My point is there is more for all of us to know than we now know if we’re to be true professionals in our field. We’re all preaching that adults can never stop learning if they want to succeed in the workplace of the future – and that has to include us training professionals. We probably all have some gaps in our knowledge base, and it’s important we identify those and deal with them.

It’s said that unless you prepare, when opportunity comes it will make you look like a fool. Continually developing new knowledge and skills will help us prepare for those unexpected opportunities we know will come. As a trainer, if this resonates with you and reveals some gaps, here’s a short reading list I’d suggest for you. As trainers, we sometimes worry that the changes in the workplace somehow mean we will be less needed in the future. I believe we will be more needed than ever, but we have to know our stuff. Until next time, add value and make a difference!

Reading List

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Bob Pike

Bob Pike (1947-2023), CPLP Fellow, CSP, CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, was known globally as the “trainer’s trainer.” He wrote more than 30 books and created dozens of videos on designing and delivering training. His Master Trainer’s Handbook remains the bestselling train-the-trainer book ever published, with more than 350,000 copies in print in four editions. He designed more than 600 one-plus day training programs in his lifetime and presented at every ATD International Conference & Exposition since 1977. Bob was a regular keynoter at global training and performance conferences in over 25 countries during his career, and his works have been translated into Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and more. The Bob Pike Group is an industry-leading firm providing training resources worldwide.

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