What is Learning and Development?

Learning and Development, a subset of HR, aims at improving the skills and knowledge of employees to improve individual and group performance.

For the holistic development of an employee, often these 7 areas are of key focus:

  • Technical 
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Soft Skills
  • Managerial Skills
  • Leadership Development
  • Emotional Intelligence Development

I wish to elaborate on 3 aspects here.

#1: Technical

Technically doesn’t only mean technology or software-related. Any skill or training required for a person to perform better in their job is technical for them.

For example, learning better ways to execute a social media campaign is a technical skill for someone in Marketing. Similarly, learning better ways to pitch a product/service is a technical skill for someone in Business Development.

Benefit: Understanding this is critical because it gives you a clear indication about what initiatives are “nice-to-have” and which ones are “must-have”. This understanding will help you to get budget approvals.

#2: Managerial Skills and Leadership Development.

Good organizations clearly understand the difference between Managerial Skills and Leadership Development.

Being a manager is a role that demands skillful management of people and resources. 

Being a leader is a quality and not a job title.  At Wuji International we believe that.

Therefore, an employee can be:

  • A manager and a leader
  • A manager and a not leader
  • Not a manager but a leader
  • Not a manager or a leader

Benefit: Identify the right combination for a person and create a development plan that benefits them and the organization. It will greatly improve the RoI from such activities.

 

#3: Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence Development

Although the concept of Emotional Intelligence has been around for more than 2 decades, it is only recently that it gained momentum. Not only that, many L&D professionals are starting to understand the difference between Soft Kills Development and Emotional Intelligence Development.

The difference can be understood easily regarding this diagram:

Throughout our life, we learn how to talk, how to listen, how to do stuff, and so on. Soft Skills Development primarily focuses on the Behaviour and Attitude of a person. Training such as Communication Skills, Listening Skills, Presentation Skills, Negotiation Skills, Conflict Management, and so on.

Rarely we learn how to think. We rarely look “behind the scene” and reflect where all this behavior and attitude is coming from.

I’m not against these pieces of training. I’m saying the opposite. I’m saying that we should not choose between Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence Development. We should do both.

If we create an environment that helps people to self-reflect on their conditionings, then they become more aware of the accurate reasons behind their behavior and attitude. 

Benefit: This helps to identify appropriate learning and development methods instead of only relying on superficial and inaccurate behavior. Not only that, people will take ownership of undergoing such a learning & development opportunity because they have identified the need for it. The bonus advantage of this approach is that the RoI on such pieces of training is high for the organization as employees implement their learning with full enthusiasm.

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Author / Educator – Sachin Sharma, Author | Managing Director, Wuji International                                             

I’m passionate about Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Development. I’ve created an Organisation Culture Development Framework called Invisible Leadership. It addresses complex HR challenges by application of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence. Challenges such as High Attrition, Low Retention, Office Politics, Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Inequality, Bullying & Harassment, Low Employee Engagement, Good to Great Leadership Journey, and so on..  At Wuji International, our team is passionate about solving such challenges, mindfully.

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