Distance Learning Is Unstoppable
In today's global marketplace, distance learning is unstoppable.
There are just too many great reasons to turn to virtual training. And an equal number of reasons to reduce onsite training--or create blended solutions.
Just to name a few. Virtual training cuts travel costs; facility costs, and eliminates time out of the office. It provides a fix-cost solution, reducing variables in training budgets.
But, try as we might to warm up to this unstoppable trend, there are still a few obstacles in the way.
In informal interviews with dozens of training directors, the most common resistances to distance learning include:
"I can't be myself online"
"I need the face-to-face connection."
"I can't inject energy into the training if I'm not in the room."
"I miss the candid conversation that happens in-person."
In short, humans like to see each other, connect and interact.
Solve these problems, and you'll find it's a lot easier to embrace virtual learning, virtual collaboration and the benefits of distance learning. At the root of these problems is one core issue: attitude.
Use these three tips to challenge a reluctant attitude towards virtual collaboration and distance learning.
Tip 1. Identify Tangible Benefits
Look at the facts, figures and dollars side of the equation. How much time could you save? How much money could you save? How much more effective could your team, department, region or organization be with distance training?
Tip 2. Explore Your Emotional Triggers
What are you feeling about distance learning?
Do you secretly wish it would go away...so you wouldn't have to learn yet another new technology?
Do you feel as if 'corporate' or 'senior executives' are calling the shots--and if you were in charge, you'd do it differently?
Do you dream of a return to the time when training centers and large training events were 'how things got done?'
In the privacy of your journal or notes, make time to explore what you're feeling about distance learning.
(Don't worry. The feelings won't stick around forever. But it helps to explore what they are.)
Tip 3. What's Your Intuition Saying?
Take a look at your notes from Tip 1. Next, step back and get an overview from Tip 2. Now, what do you notice?
Are there some benefits of distance learning that you're seeing? Are there some opportunities to use virtual collaboration tools?
From an efficiency perspective, what is clear to you now?
My hunch? You're seeing that distance learning is unstoppable. If you or your organization wants to increase efficiency across regions, and stay in touch with global partners--you're using some kind of distance training.
More and more organizations are taking a blended approach. Starting with face-to-face training is a powerful way to build rapport and trust between instructors and participants. With this foundation it's a lot easier to strengthen learning with webinars, virtual collaborations and online learning options.
What's distance learning going to look like for you and your team? Start taking a look at this, with a fresh attitude. After all, the writing is on the wall. Distance learning is unstoppable.
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