So you want to attend a course, but your boss is a stick in the mud. She’s asked you to justify why the training is necessary and explain good reasons for the expenditure.
Many years ago I asked my boss to go on a report writing course.
This seemed like a good investment because I was one of the few people on the project who wrote in legible sentences and most importantly, was willing to document the project’s key technical discussions.
I did well considering the lack of guidance and that it was not a core element of my work.
I was told by the deputy team leader to introduce spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to draw attention to my uneducated scribbling, but I was uncomfortable with that. It was unethical and I held a desire to improve myself, my work and the project offering – not to let the project down.
I attended a public speaking course some months later and one of the students told the class that he’d waited two years to come on the course. He was only given permission after he had made a case for the success of his last training course in... report writing.
So, I asked – how did you get the buy-in from the boss?
“Kirkpatrick,” he smiled, “Donald Kirkpatrick.”
Kirkpatrick’s model for training evaluation has helped individuals, bosses and HR people for over 40 years. His work sets out a 4 stage model to identify if the training process is successful. What follows is an abbreviated description of a much larger volume of work.
Stage 1 – did you enjoy the course? If you enjoyed it, you probably learnt something.
Stage 2 – what did you learn?
Stages 1&2 are discussed immediately after the course.
Now take a break for three months...
Stage 3 – what are you doing differently (better) since the course?
Stage 4 – what are the results of your new skills (more projects/better quality/more revenue/promotion/higher profile)?
If you can prove that your last training intervention was successful, it’s easier to persuade your boss to invest in your potential again. Follow the Kirkpatrick method and it’s hard not to succeed.