Will Kenny

BTP Home

"Think Pieces"
(free articles)

The Training Tipsheet
(biweekly e-zine)

Case Studies
(specific client projects)

Will in 100 Words

7 Reasons NOT
to hire me

What I've Done -

- for Whom

- and How



Drop me a line . . .


Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Courage and Credibility

doing your job may mean speaking up when you can't do your job

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

You may help spread best practices in your role as a supervisor in an organization. Or you may be an outside specialist called in to help a company change employee behavior.

Whatever your role, each training/communication project probably starts when a manager, or a committee, identifies a problem, a way of doing things they want to change (or prevent!), and suggests a plan for training employees to produce better performance. Typically the problem comes with a proposed training solution, which they want you to polish up a bit and execute.

Have you ever replied, in that situation: "That won't work"?

Naturally, as an employee, you're rarely in a position to "just say no." And if you are an outside contractor dealing with a favorite client, it can be pretty hard to say you don't think you can work on a particular project.

But if you're really interested in doing a good job for your company or for your client, if a good result is more than just getting paid for your work, you have to let people know:

  • when their vision of the training and communication efforts seems unlikely to produce results; or
  • when training is probably not the best immediate solution (e.g., management practices that are creating issues will not change after the training is delivered).

There are many more reasons that training and communication might fail than we could begin to discuss in this small space. Rather, let's focus on the consequences of plowing ahead with a bad design or ill-conceived plan, on why you really have to speak up.

Many people think the great danger is loss of credibility and reputation, and they're on the right track. Where they miss the mark is that they are worried about credibility with management, or with the committee guiding the project.

The real loss, in delivering an inappropriate or poorly designed training program, is in credibility with the employees being trained, with the audience that carries out the day to day operations of the organization. When they discover that what they learned doesn't work, when things don't change for the better, they'll be plenty skeptical of the next program that comes along. They'll go through the motions, parrot your communications as long as they have to, and wait for management's attention to move on to something else, so they can just do things the way they always have.

Employees have longer memories than management, in most organizations. Lose them this time, and you'll lose impact from your next training/communication initiative as well.

Company management counts on you to have the courage to tell them when they risk damaging their credibility with their employees. Keeping your mouth shut is a safe short-term strategy . . . and a deadly long-term one!

© 2007 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

More Reprints | "Think Pieces" | Case Studies | About the Tipsheet

Enter your e-mail to sign up for The Training Tipsheet
I never share your e-mail
with anyone!

Keeping Your
Head Down?

Obstacles to Applying Training

"Why?" . . . Not Feel Like a Kid Again?