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Positive Outliers

Online Training or Online Learning?

One of my subscribers read my Roadworks article and she was interested in my explanation of this statement I made:

“Online training is good in itself, but it really is not what I am called to do in this season.”.

Thank you, Cathie. It does deserve a fuller explanation.

What’s Wrong with Online Training?

There is nothing wrong with the idea of people with pertinent experience providing online training courses to others, particularly at this time. I have done it myself and, in all likelihood, I will do it again.

I see a growth in people owning their own learning.

I see a growth in people owning their own learning. So online courses are a great resource if the topic is relevant, and the learner needs more information and more of a know-how challenge.

Yet, there are several reasons why I have backed away from majoring on online training for the present.

Here are my three main reasons:

1. My Priority is Writing

It has become clear to me, particularly at the onset of the pandemic, that I have a calling to write. I have come to realise that other forms of work that once were a primary expression for me in previous seasons of my career are not as relevant right now.

It was not so long ago that I was a full-time training consultant. I ran a training business. Training, online or face-to-face, was my thing.

Not now. Writing is my Big Rock. It’s my priority; designing, building, marketing and administrating courses is not now. Nor do I find post-editing videos for hours is a rewarding use of my time.

This is not to say that I would not return to building online learning in the future. For now, though, I write as my primary calling.

And I’m comfortable with that.

2. Online Training is More Knowledge-Push

Also, I’m mindful that most online training is very propositional, very content-driven, very how-to. An online course takes people through steps, rules, offers techniques and explains them.

However, on the whole, such online training is mostly knowledge-push, not wisdom-pull. It does not help us develop divergent and connective thinking skills.

At the first level of any skill, particularly to do with using technology or learning a new language, or learning basic theory, this is what the student needs, and the shorter the better. Knowledge is important. Know-how is valuable.

Most forms of online training, and most tools to do it, force the training designer into a content-driven approach. The thinking is that the more content, the more valuable is the course.

What I do is beyond know-how

In my area, though, I aim to help my readers become positive outliers, people who go on to achieve greater potential in themselves. I invite them to learn, to pull from me in the context of conversations. It delights me to see them grow. Content is part of this, a necessary part. However, it is beyond know-how.

I want to help my clients leave the territory of rules to the challenge of navigating the unique unknown, where relationships and principles matter more than techniques and apps. Practice by make trial in action is the key. See my post and video on developing our critical skills.

3. Not Enough Bandwidth and Personal Expertise

I do not have the bandwidth right now. Margin is important to us all, not least to me who has advocated it in my writing and coaching. I might do if I found the right partners skilled in these areas of content creation and marketing, in the future. Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy’s book, Who Not How has helped me realise that I must not exhaust myself in domains that are not my strength.

A Bigger Impact

So, for the time being, the alternatives I offer my clients are one-to-one coaching, small group facilitation or workshops, and coaching my Mastermind group of creatives.

I take as my example a teacher of 2,000 years ago who invested himself in the few, mostly asked questions, understood that his students grew most when they worked on the most important questions for themselves, and so started the largest human movement on this planet.

Making the biggest impact in this world often comes by starting small

Making the biggest impact in this world is often by starting small, and helping others learn by asking pertinent and timely questions in the context of a safe relationship.

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