Jim Kirkpatrick’s 2021 Mid-Year Update and Recommendations
Greetings. Way to make it to the mid-point of 2021! For many of us, the clouds of COVID-19 are beginning to lift. For others though, the beast still holds on. My heart breaks for those in India, Canada, and other places still suffering.
At the beginning of the year, I provided a few suggestions for you to move forward in 2021 despite the hardships. I will now revisit, reemphasize, and update.
- Leave people better than you found them.
- Privately praise small, positive actions via email or text. Be sure to mention how it was helpful to others.
- Ask peoples’ permission to provide them with helpful feedback.
- Publicly recognize positive actions to inspire others to follow suit.
- Ask strong employees to volunteer to mentor others.
- Seek to understand before seeking to be understood (Stephen Covey) by asking questions before making judgments.
- Focus on improving workplace performance.
- Spend less time on classroom and online content, and more time on
content or interventions thatdirectly helping people where and when they are working.
- Build, support, and contribute to a community of performance (also called a community of practice).
- Develop and implement a peer-to-peer mentoring or coaching program.
- Work with line managers to develop performance accountability and support tools.
- Develop micro-performance-boost tools. Consider using videos.
- Include on-the-job performance expectations in course descriptions for mission-critical training.
- Focus post-training survey questions on driving performance and tracking results, not just checking to see if learning occurred or can be recalled.
Reread my new year message, 2021 predictions and recommendations.
The key word continuing to inspire hope for me is connect. I know the word is not new, and many know it is something we should do. In 2020, many, including us, had to pivot to delivering training in a completely virtual environment. However, something has troubled me over the last several months. I’ve noticed our participants are very hesitant to unmute and voice to the rest of us their thoughts, opinions, and feelings. Instead, the vast majority prefer to type in chat boxes. It feels like a state of resolution that human-to-human contact should go by the wayside. May it never be!
When we coax people to finally talk to us, it is like the clouds part and the fresh air of true connection appear. Deep down, I believe people’s spirits yearn for connection more than ever. My plea to you is to leverage, but do not give in to soulless technology. I am not suggesting we who design and deliver virtual platforms intend for this to happen. It is simply a by-product.
My second focus at the beginning of the year is on workplace performance. Nothing has changed and the window of opportunity is open wide! Please reflect on my suggestions and focus on the ways you can connect with people so they know you notice, care, and believe in them.
We wish you a great second half of 2021. We hope you will put everything you have into making a difference for those who are less fortunate.