What’s your Training Toolkit for?

So. What’s in your toolkit, and what do you use it for? No double entendre intended here folks: it’s just a bit of training jargon. Many is the training course that claims to give participants a ‘toolkit’ of learning resources, theories and methods that will help them work / manage / lead better back in the workplace. Despite its over-use (to the point of cliché) the term DOES serve as a useful metaphor.
 
However, my musings this week have prompted me to consider a deeper question: what do YOU use YOUR toolkit for? Creation or repair?
 
My brother is an artist and props maker (see www.ajh-art.co.uk). He has a VAST toolkit full of bits and pieces that he’s gathered over the years, with which he creates all manner of weird and wonderful objects.
 
Here’s the thing. He uses HIS toolkit to create. He has a clear vision of what he wants to make, and what it will look like when it’s finished – preparatory sketches help him keep on track throughout the process. 

He selects the right tools for each individual project. Sometimes there are subtle variations in these, depending on the precise finish he needs  – his is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Crucially, if he doesn’t have a tool that he needs, he’ll either make one, or adapt one that he already has. It’s NEVER a case of “I don’t have the tool, so I can’t do the job”.

Compare his creative work with the way in which I use MY toolkit.  It contains the bare minimum – a couple of screwdrivers, a hammer, a pair of pliers and so on – and was one of the cheapest I could find.  I only ever dust it down and drag it out of the garage when something needs to be fixed.

If I don’t have the right tool, I’ll either live with the problem, or try to get someone else to fix it.

The artist is proactive. The reluctant DIY-er is reactive.

How do you use the ‘toolkit’ of knowledge that you’ve gathered, from life experience, from other people or from training courses? Do you create, or merely repair? Are you proactive… or reactive? Your answer could be making a HUGE difference to your workplace… and your life.

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4 Responses to “What’s your Training Toolkit for?”

  1. Susan Grandfield Says:

    Love the metaphor Anna! I am definately the reluctant DIYer but like to think I am more like the artist when it comes to my training toolkit! I am a big advocate of keeping your skills and knowledge current and as such I spend quite a bit of my time on my own development which helps me to make sure my tools are all in good working order!

    As a people development specialist, it makes sense that I would advocate continuous learning but all sometimes I can get so caught up in helping others to develop that my development slips a bit. So, I have allocated 20% of my working week to my own personal development.

    I’d like to think my training toolkit now looks a bit like your brothers artist toobox, full of interesting artifacts I’ve picked up on my learning journey, which I can share with others!

    • AnnabelleB Says:

      Hi Susan – great point about setting time aside for your own development…and that it’s easy to get caught up in other things.

      At the end of the day, it’s definitely a ‘Return on Investment’ thing.

  2. katehobbs Says:

    Great Post AnnabelI love the picture of the toolkit. I sincerely believe that every person I meet has the potential to teach me something new. It is a matter of my attitude; whether I recognise the lesson, whether I choose to accept there is a lesson, and whether I decide to learn the lesson and operate in it. This adds to my toolkit.
    It also helps that I have people around me whom I trust to keep me accountable. I’ve asked them to do this to help me move on. If they see me not practicing the lessons they know I have been shown, they will say so. Transparency, accountability, vulnerability. Scarey stuff but oh so effective.
    So to answer your question at the top of this post, my training toolkit is for me first, and for the benefit of others.

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