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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
612-978-3050

Who Ya Gonna Call?

(hint: it's not "Ghostbusters" . . .)

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

Let's say you have been tapped to bring a "best practice" to the employees of an organization. You may be helping your colleagues improve their performance, or you may be an outside contractor brought in to produce a valued change.

You have to put together some ways of communicating the best practice so that it takes root in the organization. You may consider a meeting, online course, procedure guide, seminar, or whatever works for your audience and your topic.

This is important, so you want to do it right. Take a moment and write down (at least mentally) a name and phone number or e-mail in answer to each of the following questions:

  1. Who ya gonna call for technical help? If you need to construct webpages, or project a presentation, or wrestle with any kind of software and hardware to get the job done, who would help you?
  2. Who ya gonna call for content details? Who are the experts on the best practice, who did the research, who developed the product, who can give you the specific, accurate information you need to support your efforts?
  3. Who ya gonna call to make sure you follow procedures? Who can deal with human resources guidelines, quality assurance and compliance, regulations and standards?
  4. Who ya gonna call to help you maximize the impact of your communications? Who will help you organize your information, who will tell you if what you're saying and writing is clear and effective?

I'll go out on a limb and predict it was a lot easier for you to come up with the first three contact numbers than it was for the fourth one, communication help.

In a way, this is understandable. We all communicate, all day, so sometimes it's hard to see when we need expert help. But most of us drive cars, yet we wouldn't dream of entering the Indianapolis 500. Most of us can swim and run, if we have to, but we aren't going to win any medals at it.

If the company saw a benefit from fast driving or swimming or running, they'd apply a professional touch to those activities, even though nearly all of their employees can do all of those things satisfactorily for everyday purposes.

You wouldn't make an important presentation on best practices without knowing in advance whether anyone would be able to see your 'slides'. Why do you jump into important presentations without having someone check whether or not anybody's going to understand, and embrace, what you say?

It's a matter of return on investment. The greater the potential return, in terms of the organization's success, from implementing a best practice, the greater the return on your investment in high quality communication.

Where do you get that help? Well, of course, there are people like me, communication experts you can hire to help.

But you have other resources available as well. Some of your colleagues at work have a gift for effective communication, and others -- such as those working in marketing and PR to start -- are communication professionals.

Why not add a communication expert or two to that list of resources -- technical, subject matter experts, procedural -- that you so easily generated in answer to the questions above?

© 2007 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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