Sir Lennington’s Rules Of Etiquette For L&D Professionals
Etiquette is an art not lost on those who strive for excellence and the highest regard from one’s peers and for one’s self. It is a skill of gentility, a decorum of conduct, which honed over time becomes a form of generosity bestowed upon one’s circle of society. Indeed, it is a gift one gives to others. Some may not receive it as such, and upon them we shall not cast a harsh eye. Those who do accept the effort of our benevolence shall often respond by elevating the standard by which they interact with others. In this way, etiquette is contagious (metaphorically speaking, of course) among communities and can be both taught and learned. By adhering to the guidance in handbooks such as this, it will become quite second nature as you improve in skillfulness. May we all aspire to continue our pursuit toward a perpetual politeness!
Let it be clarified that this handbook (which is available for download) outlines two separate sets of etiquette – one for those who practice learning and development as a profession and another for those for whom assignments of learning have been set forth. Both sections may be read in their entirety or taken in smaller doses, absorbing perhaps only a rule or two a day, if one wishes to modestly practice a single manner before advancing to another. Certainly, it is expected that you return to restudy these rules repeatedly, as it will take some allotment of time before you have committed each to memory and have fully incorporated them into your daily disposition and deportment.
Yours in courtesy,
Etiquette For Purveyors Of Learning & Development Programs
1. Implement in a Timely Fashion
As it has become quite commonplace for learning and development professionals to seek new solutions, particularly in the designation of a learning management system, business society at large has come to approve this behavior, so one shall not fret over being judged for desiring a better offering than what one presently owns. However, one must not dillydally and shall make such decisions forthwith! A more sophisticated solution (Sir Lennington recommends Litmos among its competitors) will enable you to quickly implement because of its superior engineering and thus swiftly move on to the important business of learning. Once up and running, do be free of tattling; it is ill-advised to slander or defame the inferiority of your prior solution. Such language is improper, and we must instead focus on the positive outcomes of our more sensible choices.
2. Intermingle with Worthy Wares
Once at ease with the selection of your learning management system, it is within today’s mores of morality to allow it to intermingle with complementary solutions. A favorable choice among cosmopolitan companies is to integrate learning into the customer relationship management (CRM) system, by which people may access targeted training while working within said system, never having to enter the learning system directly at all. How convenient! Also trending in savvy circles is the incorporation of web conferencing into the learning environment – a fabulous and friendly option for communing face-to-face. Your learners will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness in providing a stylish salon for social learning and interaction. If one finds further time for shopping, Sir Lennington suggests perusing the Litmos marketplace for ideas on other worthy wares.
3. Dare Not Overindulge in Design
We must maintain a modest stance in modifying our learning management system! It is indeed a tiptop recommendation to customize your instance to match and model the appearance of your company’s brand. However, let us not step outside the boundaries of what is good and respectable. We do not need flamboyant colors nor extravagant expressions of individuality! There may be a time and place for these outlandish behaviors, but it is not within the smart, coherent confines of the learning management system, which shall ideally be clean, streamlined, and easy to navigate. Simply stated, stay within the margins of your marketing brand guide and follow the straightforward customization capabilities inherent in a system such as Litmos. Your learners will love the look, if you make it feel familiar, rather than frivolous or fancy.
4. Create Compelling Courses in a Kind Environment
Learning occurs as the perfect outcome from a combination of content and circumstances. If we only have one or the other, thorough learning is unlikely to transpire. For instance, if we have engaging content but it is very difficult to access, then the learner shall be stifled. Similarly, if we have a welcoming environment filled with feeble content, learners will languish in longing for more stimulating material. To suit all the senses of our learners, let us put an intent eye on the merits of content authoring within a strong, supportive learning management system. Formerly, content authoring was an activity performed outside of the learning platform. No longer true! Now, learning professionals may take advantage of built-in authoring tools that enable the creation of compelling courses and make it easier to produce relevant learning content quickly, as needed, within the existing learning platform.
5. Curate with a Discerning Eye
A wise person once advised: “Let us not reinvent the wheel.” So, let us not do so when producing learning content. Yes, you will continue to create proprietary courses that cannot be purchased otherwise, but when providing more universal content, such as compliance, sales mastery, service excellence, and other time-tested skills, it is wholeheartedly recommended that you curate this material from an off-the-shelf library. You will save yourself and your colleagues immense effort by seeking ready-made collections that can be instantly included in your learning management system. The burden of responsibility for updating these courses shall not fall upon your shoulders either; the leading content proprietors automatically update their offerings to be au courant.
6. Bring Forth Learners Swiftly
A daunting challenge among professionals in the learning and development trade is that of adding learners to the management system and making proper course and learning path assignments to aid in their professional and personal development. Alas, one may engage in manual tasks to accomplish these goals but that is likely to be tedious and perhaps even error-prone. To exercise the swiftest capabilities in bringing new learners forth, Sir Lennington recommends an automated system such as Litmos, whereby one can automatically assign content, teams, and brands to a learner, based on a defined set of rules. We do love rules! Indeed, they are driven by user profile fields and content completions, and make the management of learners much simpler and requiring of far less effort than any manual attempts at doing so.
7. Grant Purposeful Paths
A sophisticated learning program will employ a strategic perspective, beyond thinking only of individual courses and singular assignments. As we expand our minds to include the broader organization of courses, we may create prerequisites for learners to proceed along what are best described as learning paths (i.e., intelligent groupings of related courses). It is most considerate to the success of learners to allow them to develop more fully than by a single course in isolation. Learning paths pave well-designed avenues for more thorough development in an area of study. In the learning management system, an administrator may add courses to a learning path and automatically advance learners through the grouping, such that final completion is achieved not by the taking of any individual course(s) but by the holistic consumption of the entire collection.
8. Maintain a Tidy Library
It is our duty as responsible adults to maintain meticulous levels of cleanliness and organization. One cannot adhere to even the most basic etiquette practices if one’s life lacks the simple standards of neatness. As such, we must extend our requirement for tidiness into the realm of learning libraries. Has some content become stale? Are courses still available that are out-of-date in their teachings? Good gracious! It’s time we sweep the dust from the shelves and offer only what is fresh and modish to our learners. Perhaps setting a regular schedule for reviewing your library is in order. It would be deemed prudent to perform a clean-up quarterly, and this shall not present any undue stress upon your calendar as it is relatively infrequent, yet often enough to be effective in your efforts for rigorous organization.
9. Report & Analyze Dutifully
Every vocation contains elements of tediousness that must be scrupulously performed, regardless of whether they offer fulfillment or satisfaction. For many practitioners of learning and development programs, reporting and analysis can be categorized as such. Sir Lennington recommends making subtle but meaningful adjustments to your attitude regarding reporting by trying techniques such as smile therapy or mindful gratitude, both of which can be useful in uplifting one’s mood while running reports. Also remember that reporting is often beneficial to your career because it demonstrates to the executive class that your programs produce exemplary outcomes and may even affect higher performance levels among employees and the extended enterprise. Keep your chin up if you do not enjoy the analytics component of your job. Perhaps over time, you may develop a respect (if not affection) for the charts and tables that track the progress of your programs.
10. Train for Proficiency, not Perfection
As purveyors of training programs, do we sometimes exclude ourselves from the benefits of learning? The Dickens we do! This shall not stand, as we must commit to educating ourselves as much as we educate others. The utmost recommendation from Sir Lennington is to train in the finer capacities of the learning management system itself to the extent that we become masters of the technology. Often, mere percentages of a system are put to good use for the simple fact that the administrator is unaware or unable to leverage its full power. Let us end this ignoble practice this instant! Engage in continuous training so that you become a more proficient professional. We strive not for perfection but for distinction in delivering training in the most meritorious ways possible, clearly demonstrating our command of the systems over which we have dominion and control.
If you’d like to partake of more words of wisdom, courtesy of the leading authority in eLearning design, download the eBook Sir Lennington’s Handbook Of L&D Etiquette & Manners post-haste.