“It’s the things you learn after you know it all that count.” – Coach John Wooden

Rarely do we hear about training from a student’s perspective long after the lessons have been given, and the real “training” has sunk in. This 25-minute podcast is an interview with NBA Star Bill Walton, who learned from one of the best coaches who ever lived, John Wooden.  As a student, what did Walton learn from Wooden? And how did Wooden teach?  And – in trivia – what is Walton’s connection to libraries?

Load this Growth Show podcast on your mobile device, go for a walk, and give it a listen.  (It is available through Soundcloud, iTunes and Google Play.)

Razer OSVR Open-Source Virtual Reality for GamingKate Kosturski guest hosted episode 195 and found that she was the only one of the call. Having been to NYC ComiCon, she did a short talk on virtual reality. And left us with this question: What affect will virtual reality (VR) have on libraries and library training?

Happy Summer Solstice Northern HemisphereOn the call were Andrea Snyder, Kate Kosturski, Michael Porter, Jill Hurst-Wahl, and Maurice Coleman. We began with the topic:  How do we connect with our learners, whether it is a workshop or a speaking gig or webinar?  What tips or tricks do we use?

As background, Jill has been listening to a nearly two-hour interview with Seal (the singer).   At one point, Seal talks about advice he was given early in his career.  He had a hit (“Crazy“) and was on a popular music TV show in England.  A colleague told him that the performance was “good”, but that he hadn’t connected.  She said Seal would know when he had done it.

Tips mentioned were:

  • Provide some background on yourself to help build rapport.
  • Give the learners power by engaging them in the conversation.
  • Food! – In all seriousness, it helps people be comfortable and know that their needs will be met.
  • Assigned seating, so that people aren’t with their usual cliques.

How do you know that you “lost the room”?

  • Are people looking at you, every once in a while?
  • Scan the room.  Is the behavior in the room changing?
  • Is there someone who is a “canary”?  For example, someone who unconsciously will nod her/his head “yes” when the person gets it.

Reading the room is a soft-skill. Can it be taught?

It was pointed out that sometimes you have to power-through a training, even if you’ve lost the room.

Can you have someone in the audience that gives you feedback or ensures that there is engagement?

Managing the flow of the training is a soft-skill that a trainer needs to learn.  Managing the flow means the person needs to be flexible and nimble.  The person needs to know the content well and be able to alter priorities on-the-fly, if necessary.

One other soft skill is learning how to hide the butterflies (or worries).

What do you do before you present to an audience that you don’t know?

  • Take a few deep, focused breathes.
  • Close your eyes and do deep breathing.
  • Put on lip balm and hand lotion, and check your zipper.
  • Empty your pockets.  (Your pants or outfit will look better.)
  • Go to the bathroom.  If you have a lavalier mic, turn it off or take it off.
  • Take some time to yourself right before.  Center down and calm yourself.

You can listen to the show here.

IFLA WLIC2016After a three-minute episode on Sept. 2 (Too Beautiful Outside), the crew bounced back with a full Episode 193. On the call were Andrea Snyder, Diane Huckaby, Paul Signorelli and Maurice Coleman.

Here are links to items mentioned in the show:

You can listen to the entire show here.

brussell sproutsThe groups talked about how do you pave the way for training to be well received? How to create effective resources for an unknown user group? They also talked about ALA and our dream cities for possible locations. One the call were Kate Kosturski, Andrea Snyder, and Maurice Coleman.

You can listen to the episode here.


A lock with a warning on itThis week, we welcomed Dr. Steve Albrecht, who wrote the book Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities.  Steve is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals and is an ATAP Certified Threat Manager.   He’s on Twitter at @DrSteveAlbrecht.   Also on the call were Maurice Coleman (@baldgeekinmd), Paul Signorelli (@paulsignorelli), Andrea Snyder @alsynder02), Laura Fothergill (@laurafothergill), and Jill Hurst-Wahl (@jill_hw). The show can be heard here.

Why did Steve write this book?  A group knew that he wrote about workplace violence and asked that he think about this topic from a library perspective.  He has done workshops and webinars on the topic.  After a umber of years, he wrote a book on the topic.

What are the three keys to a safer library?

  • An assertive use of the library’s code of conduct.  He believes the code of conduct should be posted and visible.  The language should help people understand what they can do.
  • Create partnership relationships with people in the larger community who can help the library address specific issues (e.g., homelessness).
  • Talk with staff about issues and do training, and group problem solving.  Have an incident reporting system.

Do many libraries have an incident reporting system?  Many do.  the incident report needs to be in a format – and in enough details – to be useful for people inside and outside of the library (e.g., law enforcement).  The law of documentation may stop you from getting the help you need in handling a specific situation.

Is it true that the more urban your library, the more likely you’ll have security concerns?  It doesn’t matter where the facility is. What matters is that the culture has demonstrated what the library will tolerate.  A culture that is inviting and supportive, where people self-police, is best.

Steve noted that people often don’t talk about what has driven them away from the library.  If someone’s behavior has stopped people from coming to the library, you need to know that.

What is your experience with libraries in terms of reaching out to teens?   The library needs to be best people talking to the teens.  “Best” means the person who is aligned with the teens.  It might be someone their age or someone who has a connection with the teens.

Steve cautions to be aware of peer pressure.  Rather than talking to kids as a group, talk to them individually.  Perhaps talk to one, who can take the message back to the other teens.  Also one on one, you might really hear what the problem or situation is.

Steve noted that a security guard’s job is customer service.

What advice does Steve have for helping us work with staff who have challenging patrons?  We know that we have patrons who have idiosyncratic behavior.  How does that person’s behavior impact the business?  The fact that a person is homeless is not the issue; the person’s behavior might be an issue.

What are some key staff do’s or don’ts when dealing with security (challenging patrons)?

  • Have a consistent message.  For example, enforce the code of conduct consistently throughout the week and year.
  • Understand the idea of space and distance.  Give people space and distance.  Be aware of violating someone’s space.  Space can also provide safety.

Does this relate to cultural competency or diversity training?  Steve relates this to the three C’s: consistency, community, and communication.  He noted that diversity training can be a loaded top and so trainers need to be purposeful in how they approach the topic.

Lecturing versus experiential learning?  Steve likes doing both.

In terms of a code of conduct, should it be more do’s or don’ts?  Steve believes it should be more do’s.  If written legalistically, it becomes don’ts.  Turn the language around so it is engaging and is not lecturing.  It should be friendly and short.  People should be able to say what the code is and how it is enforced.

What should be considered a threat?  Maurice noted that some staff members don’t know what a threat is.  There is research into who makes threats versus who carries out threats.  There are people who are howler, who make a lot of noise and who are verbally provocative.  Then there are hunters, who are rare, who will do the the most damage.  We run into howlers much more frequently than hunters.  A concern are those people who tell a third party and make an indirect threat.  He is more concerned about indirect threats versus direct threat.  However, Steve noted that being aware of all threats – direct or indirect – is important and assessing them.

When a howler is confronted and expresses remorse, that is a good thing.  A howler who is not remorseful could be problematic.

Should sites have their facilities assessed for security?  Yes.  Use a checklist or have the police do a walk through. You do not necessarily need to hire a security consultant.

Steve believes in a delineated barrier between the staff and patron side of the building.

How do you confront someone?  Do it in pairs, so that you have someone to support you and to be a witness.

Steve Albrecht said much more than what is captured here.  You can here the entire show on Talkshoe.

Sunset view from Clinton SquareMaurice Coleman and Paul Signorelli celebrated the life of a friend in spirit of the show, talked about how to deal with the tragically unexpected thing before or during a training, and how does an introvert train, and are bullet points on slides a feature or a bug. You can listen to the show here.

Lake Eola Classic ViewJules Shore, Maurice Coleman and Paul Signorelli talked about the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, our favorite things and takeaways about the conference.  You can listen to the show here.

Inspiration or distraction?

Inspiration or Distraction?

This week’s topic was inspired by the blog post “Attention, distraction, deep work and burnout” by Jill.  On the call were Buffy Hamilton, Paul Signorelli, Jill Hurst-Wahl, Laura Fothergill and Maurice Coleman.

Buffy noted that some K-12 school districts do allow students to bring their own devices into the classroom.  However, she did notice some students this past year who became very engrossed in their mobile devices during lunch and never did anything else during lunchtime.

One other distraction is when people monopolize the conversation.  See “What teens resent: Classrooms controlled by students rather than teachers“.

Paul pointed to his post Social Media Feast and Fast: Disconnecting for a Day.

We talked about distraction in library training, K-12, and higher education.  Paul and Laura provided tools that people can use for digital note-taking which include Twitter, Prezi,  OneNote, and Sway…and a myriad of other things.

The show – which contains much more than what’s in these notes – can be listened to here.  The unedited chat – or as we say…the back channel – from the show is here.  Paul felt that others might want to read the chat, which was very focused this week.

Additional Resources:

Revolutionize Learning & Development. (2014). San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons and ASTD Press

Clark Quinn 

Quinn--Revolutionize_L&D--CoverClark Quinn is certainly not the first to say he is mad as hell and to urge us to not take it anymore. But in this well-researched, highly- and finely-nuanced book, he does far more than recycle old rants. He builds upon research-based evidence to show where we continue to go wrong in talent development and, more importantly, offers suggestions for changing our course(s) to the benefit of those we serve. The real winners here are the learners we will better support by adapting Quinn’s first-rate recommendations to fit our learners’ and organizations’ needs.

–This brief review, originally written as a “shelf talker” posted in the conference bookstore at the ATD 2016 International Conference & Exposition in Denver (May 2016), is re-posted here with the permission of our ATD colleagues. A longer set of reflections is available on the “Building Creative Bridges” blog.


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