GraciasLearning professionals often complain that they don’t get the respect and credit they deserve for the value they create.  We agree, for a number of reasons: We don’t do a good enough job of documenting our results and we don’t manage training’s brand as effectively as we should.  See: “Managing Training’s Brand”

The result is that learning professionals are often treated simply as “order takers” and don’t get much more credit for what we deliver than a fast food clerk does for a serving up a hamburger.

So how do you earn the recognition you deserve? You focus on business issues and you use the language of business—not training-speak—when you discuss learning initiatives with business leaders and managers.  Don’t talk about levels 1, 2, 3, or 4 of evaluation.  Business managers don’t know what they are, and frankly don’t care.  Evaluate and communicate improved on-the-job actions and business-relevant outcomes.

To do so, of course, you have to know what the business-relevant outcomes are, which is why the first and most important of the Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning (the 6Ds) is to rigorously define expected business outcomes in consultation with the business managers.

Given that training is frequently undervalued, how can we simultaneously argue that training professionals deserve LESS credit?  Because even when training is PART of the solution to a performance challenge, it is never the WHOLE solution.

The data are irrefutable: managers are an essential part of the learning ecosystem.  Indeed, a manager’s engagement—or lack of engagement—has a profound impact on ultimate value produced by training.  So, when training is successful, managers deserve some of the credit.  And when training fails to produce value, managers deserve some of the blame.

Getting better at engaging managers—and counterintuitively—sharing the credit for training’s successes with them, will go a long way toward increasing the credit you earn.

Want to discover more about these ideas and how to increase the value of training and development? Sign up for the Online 6Ds Workshop to learn practical and proven methods to increase—and get appropriate recognition for—the value that training creates.  More information is here: