As a provider of digital learning for soft skills and leadership, we are often asked: “Is e-learning really suitable for soft skills?” Or something like “Do you really think e-learning can replace face-to-face training?” But that is not what we’d want to talk about.
Of course, as Josh Bersin for example points out in his article about leadership development, developing soft skills that are personal and complex, are not easily matched with traditional e-learning. But frankly, that is not what we’d like to talk about.
Obviously we understand why L&D professionals like trainers and HR developers are concerned about this! But what if we are asking the wrong questions? Recently, I came across this article written by LMS-company Looop, which stated:
“It’s just a distraction to be asking whether classroom training is better than eLearning for developing soft skills.”
So, why is that? What does it distract us from?
When we are only looking at comparing those two methods of learning, we forget, what we are actually aiming at. And that is, to find out what is really important for sustainable learning and development. If we pitch different training methods against each other, we neglect the fact that by combining the aspects of what works best in every training we might be able to create something even better.
Additionally, if companies or training companies only focus on choosing one over the other, they might forget to consider other aspects, such as:
Let’s dive in a little deeper.
The blunt answer: No one learns important skills like dealing with new challenges, creativity, or leading others solely by soaking up information. That’s why discussing if e-learning works for training soft skills is a moot point. The real learning starts after the training, no matter what kind of training. It begins when people start reflecting on their behaviour, when they become more aware of themselves and of what they are doing, when they challenge what they think they know, and when they start changing their mindset step by step.
So what we should ask instead is rather, how can we do trainings that inspire people to continuously learn and grow?
What would happen, if we start using each form of training and development program for what it’s best suited for?
Imagine, powerful, inspiring in-person workshops, to create energy and momentum, to get start a conversation, to debate and to question.
And then, an e-learning solution, which keeps the spirit of learning alive, gives little impulses in the daily routine, and adds information as easily digestible bits and pieces so people actually have a chance to remember them.
If we ask ourselves how we can provide the kind of trainings people actually need to develop the skills they need – what’s the answer? In our experience of the last decades as trainers AND as developers of a sustainable digital learning solution, the answer is this:
We want to assist you in the best possible way to find out your needs.
Are you a training company looking for a digital tool to expand your in-person trainings? Perfect, we got the thing for you!
Are you an organisation looking for experts to make the most out of your in-house trainings? Awesome, our digital learning solution might be just what you have been looking for.
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch!
Have you ever thought about how you actually learn?
We believe that true learning, like life, is a journey, not a destination.
We really want to share our thoughts on this because we deeply believe that this mindset is what truly enables you to continuously learn and grow.
The more places you visit the richer your experience of life becomes and the more you learn and grow.
You know that success requires more than a one-time training, workshop or event.
Learning always requires time to integrate before you can apply it. It’s a process.
Unlike many processes, however, the kind of learning we’re talking about here is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ step-by-step progression through Excel for example. Far from it.
The kind of learning we’re talking about here is personal and highly individual, even if it falls under the banner of ‘professional development’.
This is about ‘who you are’, not what you do.
This kind of learning with its twists and turns of discovery and self-realisation is far more enjoyable and rewarding than any process.
This kind of learning is a journey.
Journeys have no distinct destination and continually invite you to expand your horizons.
Journeys strengthen your relationship with the world around you, increase your awareness and invite you to rediscover purpose, values and beliefs.
Journeys give you the freedom to explore new perspectives and ideas, and allow you to choose the path you want to follow, not because someone tells you to, but because you want to.
That’s what makes this so powerful. That’s what makes the learning stick.
First and foremost; if you really want life to be a learning journey, you’re already traveling on the path. It’s about the mindset of how you approach your life and being able to see the opportunities to learn and grow everywhere you go.
And if you feel you need or want support, look for traveling companions. Who inspires you, who can be a friend, guide or mentor in this?
And last but not least, be kind to yourself. Self-compassion is the best equipment for your learning journey. We all take a ‘wrong’ turn sometimes and there’s actually nothing wrong about it… that’s usually where the best learning is found. Instead of being hard on yourself, accept the situation, let go of the outcome, trust the journey and pay close attention.
To support people like you on that journey is our passion, it’s what we love doing. If you want to read more about us and how we do what we do, have a look here.