Posted in Culture, Playing Nice in the Sandbox

It doesn’t matter who won


I have processed the election results for quite some time this morning. In the early hours, I found myself afraid – filled with a fear I have not known in a long time.

I didn’t like it.

Then I applied my tools.

I drilled down, utilizing “The Seven Whys.”

I discovered that my fear was based on belief in the shouts of media, divisionists, and politicians – the same people that I know seldom speak the truth and, if they do, it always comes with a spin.

These are the same people (different faces perhaps, same message, same tactics) that worked to convince us, as Obama won the election, that he was coming for our guns, that he was not who he claimed to be and a threat to the country.

Some people still think that rhetoric is true despite no substantiated facts.

Today they have done the same.

They are filling minds with fears of hatred, bigotry, violence. They are casting blame, judgement, and their own vile.

They are driving wedges, creating divisions, drawing lines in the sand.

I breathe.

What is different, really?

What has changed between yesterday and today? Between this new president elect and the previous?


The rich are still in power. The government is still a cumbersome bureaucracy that moves at the pace of a frozen snail. Fear and money still sit in the focal seat.


I still have control over the ONLY thing I have and will always have control over.


(At least on a really good day.)

But seriously…

If control exists (that’s a different conversation), the only place I can apply it is to me, for me, on me, with me.

I control me.

I choose my thoughts, my behaviors, what I see, who I embrace, how I present myself in the World.

I look around at my friends – on FB and in “real” life.

They represent the full array of the vote.

Some voted for Trump, others for Hillary, some for third partyers and still others for no one.

They are still my people. Nothing has changed.

I choose not to judge based on how people voted.

I choose not to judge.

I choose to take in behavior, listen to words, look at their actions.

Are they respectful, kind, striving for equity?

Are we?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying I do it well all the time. Remember, I own that I only have control over me and only on a good day!

But what are our choices now?

How do we implement change in the World for the good of all? How do we move forward, together, to continue to expand and change this society and culture into the one that embodies a vision of equity and respect?

We have control over only one thing.

One POWERFUL thing.

Ourselves. Our “I”.

I implore you to stand with me today – and tomorrow and the next day and the next – and choose to be the best you you can be; to live your life in Love

  • In what you say
  • In what you do
  • In what you think
  • In how you choose to interact

I promise to do my best to lead in love; to work together in love; to live in love. I invite you to join me.

Remember, Love is kind. Patient. Respectful. Seeks first to understand. Lifts the weak. Recognizes its own short-comings.

Recognizes its own Power.

And stands there;

Love stands in its own Power.

Regardless of who you voted for, of who won…

Embrace your Power.

Embrace your Love.

Posted in Professional Development Training

STOP “Drive-Bys”


Many professionals, regardless of the field, go to a conference or a workshop for one day, two days, even three days. GREAT experience, right? There are myriads of sites and sources for online and “home” study programs that are designed to improve what is done by professionals across marketing, teaching, finance, and law.

How much of that professional learning experience makes it back into everyday professional life?

Many professional licenses require a certain amount of professional development.  In the teaching, healthcare, legal, child protective, and mental health professions continued education is tallied based on “butts in the seats” participation via a sign-in documentation. There might even be an event evaluation required that is tied to proving the learning time was experienced.

There is, however, no exploration, documentation, or interest into how the professional development experience becomes translated into practice, how it improved or impacted what professionals do with what they have learned. Most professionals will tell you, they learned a lot but ask them how they have applied it and they come up short pretty quick.

This is what we at With Respect, LLC call “drive-by trainings.”

Showing up to do a single event for 45 minutes to 3 days is easy as the hired professional development trainer.

But it’s not effective.

Consequently, as a professional development trainer, it is unethical and unrealistic for me to market anything differently. That’s why all of our training experiences are in series, over time.

As a professional development trainer, I’ve been advocating for a long time on the importance of HOW we continue to educate ourselves in our practice, how we truly improve our craft and benefit our clients – be they students, customers, patients, or organizations.

We have to consider the learning process and, specifically, the adult learning process. It doesn’t happen overnight nor in a vacuum.

Based on the conscious competence model combined with the research based brain integration model I have developed we know that moving people through the change process of learning (true learning requires a change in the target of what will be done or thought differently) requires multiple steps, over time.

It looks like this:

Adult Learning

The great thing about this model is it makes clear the two things that are required for a learning experience to be meaningful and integrated (the middle of the steps):

Discord and Practice.

Discord is about processing and processing is about figuring out where things fit in the system we already have internally for filing. That means discord is a bit of trial and error to see where things fit, how to store it within the framework that already exists (i.e. Do I file “This Old Man” under “T” for “This” or “O” for Old?)

Discord is also about clarity. Clarity comes through questions and answers. It is good to note that the answers that serve learning best are done through discovery but that’s a different topic. In traditional drive-by training, the session ends with questions and answers. That’s as far as it gets. Reality is, questions are at the beginning of learning, not the end; not if the goal is to reach levels of conscious competence (using the skills or information intentionally, with a mid to high level of expertise).

That means traditional trainings leave the participants well within conscious incompetence: they know enough to know they don’t know how to do/apply it or how to do/apply it very well. I don’t believe that’s what a professional learning experience is all about.

Note from the graphic above that the other critical component for integration is a high level of awkward practice. People don’t learn from words alone. Yes, we might remember words we’ve heard in a certain order, but that doesn’t mean we can DO it, that we can apply what those words mean.

For example, take the left blue hook and weave it into the secondary right yellow cutter. You know what each of those words mean but, particularly out of context without seeing it or a rendition of it, you have no way to form meaning with those words.

We are all kinesthetic at the core of learning. That means we have to do it, whatever “it” is. We have to practice. Not just any, one time fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants practice session, but a series of practice that allows progression through the process. The length of time required is, of course, based on the complexity of the skills or concepts being integrated.

The Role of Clear Objectives

All of that said, the objectives of professional development must be clear. Take education and awareness as objectives, for example. They require a different level of training but truly must be seen as the beginning, not a single opportunity.

For learning to be meaningful it must be relevant. That’s why we ask important questions.

  1. Does the content improve or change what is expected of the individual employee?
  2. After the learning experience, what is the expectation of change in what is done, said, thought, or applied by the employee?
  3. How does the training ensure the change is truly integrated in thought, deed, or word?

Without answers to these questions, the experience is more a waste of time than an actual learning opportunity. (Yes, this applies to those mandatory trainings too. Which, by the way, don’t have to be boring if they’re done well.)

You can see, then, why what I do is so important to me, why it is crucial that we redefine what an effective professional learning experience looks like, what it means to develop our professional knowledge and skills.

As professionals you have a right to expect, demand, and receive quality learning. This is particularly true when you have to stay on top of what is going on in the world and your industry. The only way that will occur is that organizations know what questions to ask and what answers to expect.

That’s how we reduce “drive-bys” in business.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below or email me here.

Until next time,

Leah R. Kyaio
Executive Director
With Respect, LLC