Know Your Limitations


When I began in training development some 22 years ago as a trainer, I felt that I had an immense ability to change behaviors.  One day of training could literally change the world, and yet I was so wrong.  I had fallen for the hype that training could cure all ills, and that we were master fixers of everything.

Later when I began to study performance consulting, and realized that the training function was just one type of solution to create or change behaviors I was suddenly brought back to earth.  While it is tempting to take all the accolades for a well implemented training strategy working, we must know our limitations and share the credit with other factors.

Leadership development is one of my favorite examples of shared responsibility.  You literally cannot train everything a person needs to know to be an effective leader.  Your limitation is in the skill building, and creating situations where others mentor and practice these skills.  And while we might think that we are the masters of skill identification, get a grip that we are not and we must involve existing leaders in this process.

You have heard many say that training needs to partner with others to achieve results.  The very notion of “partnering” lends itself to understanding that we are but one component in the learning process.  So with this knowledge we must include others in our needs analysis, planning and implementation if we want a successful employee.

As we become aware of our limitations, we also are keen on not taking all the credit for success.  And here is the better part of this awareness; we don’t need to take all the credit for failure either.

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