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Commentary On The Seminars

The seminars identified on the previous page are unique.  The primary element that differentiates them from most traditional seminars is the feedback that is provided in the context of the learning setting.  Prior to the seminar each participant is provided with a packet of questonnaires.  The participant decides who shall get an opportunity to provide feedback to him or her.  The likely candidates for providing feedback vary depending on the focus of the seminar (e.g. subordinates, team members, bosses, peers, customers, clients, etc.).  All of the semiars are based on credible resources. Those resources are either published research or specific identifiable literature sources.

The format of the questionnaire is divided into three different ratings areas.  The first two areas are paired in a single rating dimension.  The initial rating is focused on the amount the participant currently is observed engaging in the key behaviors that are associated with high performance in the subject area of the seminar.  The second rating is a respondent's determination of the ideal amount of that same behavior for a positive effect on his or her job performance.  In the calculation routine the difference between these two ratings is calculated as a gap.  The third rating is the importance of the defined behavior on the perfromance of his or her present job.  The next calculation is the gap multiplied by the importance.  The product of that calculation is labeled the Priority Index.  The Priority Index is the number reported to the participants in the seminar.  There is a more complete summary of this survey method along with an example in the section of this site labeled Gap Analysis.

The only real purpose of training in the corporate setting is to change behavior.  The research is clear that the most reliable way to assure that a training initiative produces observable, meaningful, long-term behavior change is feedback based training.  For most candidates for training the model is, "Tell me how I'm doing now, then give me a credible behavioral model to work toward, and I will take the responsibility to make the necessary changes to improve my performance".

The value of feedback goes beyond just assuring that the money paid for training is not wasted because it does not result in behavior change.  Feedback also dramatically changes the dynamics of the seminar itself.  The role of the instructor changes in a fundamental way.  Rather than being just the "expert" in the front of the room, he or she becomes a resource to the participants to help them accept and apply their feedback when they return to their jobs.  The participants also are affected in important ways by the feedback.  It tends to provide them with a mechanism to prioritize and intensify their learning during the seminar.  When participants get feedback that identifies problem areas, they tend to focus intently on those parts of the seminar that touch on those problem areas