Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Silence" - a fear


I was in Chail, Himachal Pradesh, near Shimla for a NGO Training workshop.

This is a hill station in HP but probably not as crowded as Shimla. Nice quiet place. Temperature about 23 deg. For 3 days that I was there, I went for an early morning walk on 2 of those days.

The 2nd day, I started walking uphill, past a gurudwara and further on. This was about 6.30 am. There were houses on the way but "sleepy". I went further on.

After about 30 minutes, I paused as I was panting. Suddenly it struck me that it was eerily quiet... few birds, funny croaking by hill crows.... and nothing else. The breeze was playing truant with the cedar trees... and no human sound at all.

I was frightened., frightened of the silence and that I was alone. I didn't have the guts to go further on. I started back.... to the noises.

I wonder why? Is it that for a hard-core Mumbaite like me, who is so used to sounds (high decibles), so used to voices and noise... this "silence" was terrifying.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Is classroom training still relevant?

In India (no research to support my comment... just my observation),

IT guys seem to enjoy and sink in on-line learning more that other functions

Others seem to like Classroom Training and find if more effective.

Everyone doesn't have a internet connection at home, so the question is where would the log from.... naturally from the office... that means as it is they are hard pressed for time and now online learning mode becomes an additional time pressure. And more time to be spent on the machine now.... it's taking its toll.

Classroom training would be away from the screen, away from the seat and the associated organizational interferences (few consider such training as "picnics" if scheduled residential and in a resort). Interaction between participants happen and often encouraged by the Facilitator... it also makes people know each other better.

I for one, surely feel Classroom Training is relevant.

(P.S. We Indian's still psychologically follow the 'Gurukul tradition' of learning...known as 'Guru...Shishya parampara')

Do you think that companies will invest in their people development training in 2009?

Yes, surely but depends on levels.

Senior level training budgets are reduced but not training per se i.e. the venue and facilities aren't 5-star hotels anymore (nor residential resorts) but in the office conference room itself (has it's disadvantages but ;-) trainings are happening and no cuts).

Similar is the situation for the mid-levels... the only hit is that people have been removed and therefore the no. of days engagement has been drastically reduced.

The entry-levels and the junior level freelance trainers have been hit the most. No more bulk trainings... in many companies either being done by internal trainers or by functional heads.... outsourced trainers have been hit.

Some companies have smartly started hiring full-time trainers so that a fixed salary could be paid and not per-day rates.

This is the India perspective.

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