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Becky Norman


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TrainingZone’s 10 most popular articles in 2019

Find out which TrainingZone articles caught the attention of your L&D peers across the year…

In our round-up of the top 10 articles in 2019, two key areas of concern for today’s L&D professionals stand out. First, ‘soft skills’ feature in several of the articles below suggesting that readers are focused on the development of these capabilities both for themselves and their learners. Second, a number of L&D experts have written for TrainingZone about why the learning profession must rethink its purpose. With a few of these editorials featured below, we can assume that readers our resonating with these home truths.

Are there any surprises on the list? It’s not uncommon for a leadership piece to make the cut, but this year it was refreshing to see a piece on developing managers gain traction.  While we’re seeing mindfulness being adopted more widely – both personally and within businesses – mindful training is an emerging area, and an article on just this topic has made it onto the list.

So without further ado, here is a snapshot of what grabbed the attention of your L&D peers across the year...

1. Personal development: how to increase your adaptability

With the adage ‘change is the only constant’ being bandied around in today’s business conversations, it’s no wonder that our top piece in 2019 explored the soft skill of adaptability. Emma-Sue Prince, director of Unimenta, gives her insights on how getting out of your comfort zone is the best route to developing new skills.

2. Helping change the role of L&D by changing roles in L&D

Speaking of change, our second most popular article written by Charles Jennings, director of the 70:20:10 Institute, explores the need for L&D to move into more performance-focused roles to better align with the business. In the coming years, will your role change to a performance detective, a performance architect or a performance game changer? Have a read to find out more...

3. Why emotional intelligence is essential in the age of artificial intelligence

The extent to which AI will impact work and workers continues to be debated – but one prediction that is widely agreed upon is that emotional intelligence skills will be critical for businesses in the future. Robin Hills, director of Ei4Change, explains why the human touch will remain so important.

4. Soft skills: the four cornerstones of a great conversation

We’re starting to see a trend here, with yet another article in our top 10 list focusing on soft skills. In this piece Randy Sabourin, co-president of Practica Learning, walks us through four elements that will improve conversational skills.

5. Mindfulness: inviting your learners to stop before they start

Throughout 2019 Kay Buckby, facilitator of The Development Company Ltd, has been sharing insights on how to become a mindful trainer. Here, she shares techniques for helping learners separate themselves from the distractions of work so that they can fully engage in training.

6. How good coaching can replace bad performance reviews

We all know by now that the annual appraisal is an outdated and overly bureaucratic process, but ditching these yearly reviews is easier said than done. Providing us with an alternative is Matt Somers, founder and managing director of Coaching Skills Training Ltd, who argues for less process and more dialogue.

7. The new dawn for L&D: from catalogues to consultancy, programmes to partnership

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about the need for L&D to transform itself to be more relevant and useful to the business, but what does this transition actually look like? Naomi Lockwood, head of OD at Napp, gives her two cents on the matter...

8. Look upwards! Why L&D must shift its focus towards building the right learning environment

What's the winning combination for effective learning? A focus not only on the learning itself but on the environment in which learning takes place, argues leadership and development expert Nigel Paine.

9. The problem with managers and how to upskill them

We focus so much time and investment on developing leaders – but what about managers? They hugely impact the engagement, wellbeing and performance of employees, but often get little development support. L&D expert Niall Gavin has a solution that’s not simply ‘put them on a training course’...

10. Beyond knowledge: five ways to ensure learning is applied

As several of the articles in this top 10 list suggest, L&D’s remit sits well beyond the design and implementation of learning programmes. Robin Hoyle, senior consultant at Learnworks, argues we have a responsibility to ensure that the learning is applied – and he has five ways of doing this that work.

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Becky Norman

Managing Editor

Read more from Becky Norman

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