• June 14, 2020 11:23 AM | Anonymous member

    Call for Volunteers and Leader Nominations

    Our chapter needs your talents! As a volunteer organization, SEWI-ATD relies on our members to serve the talent  development community in southeastern Wisconsin.

    We are looking for volunteers at all levels, from helping out at single events to participating on committees or serving as a board member. To find out more about how you can get involved, or to recommend someone in your network, please email our President-Elect Colin Hahn.

    Serving as a chapter volunteer is a great way to develop as a leader, build professional relationships, and gain experience to grow your career. Whether you have any of the skills below, or want an opportunity to develop these skills, we’d love to help you succeed!

    We need volunteers to:

    • Build personal connections with members
    • Partner with community organizations
    • Leverage social media to build our brand
    • Organize events and programs
    • Deploy and support technology tools
    • Manage strategic projects
    • Perform data analytics and track key metrics
    • Create budgets and financial forecasts

    We are currently planning our 2021 board nominations and committee leaders, please email Colin by July 9th to find out how you can be involved.

    We strongly encourage members of under-represented groups to participate. As a chapter, we are committed to building an inclusive and welcoming environment for talent professionals of all backgrounds and identities, and we know that we still have work to do in building a leadership team that reflects the talent profession. If you have suggestions for how we can do better in this area, please email Colin as well.

  • June 03, 2020 8:15 PM | Anonymous member

    To the members, organizations, and communities we serve:

    A respected friend and Talent Development leader reminded me recently that “silence says something as well.” I am so grateful for this patient nudge. As a person of privilege in our society I have found myself hesitating out of fear or uncertainty of how to help. I am leaning on the advice of those trusted friends and colleagues who have generously supported me while already carrying a heavy burden of their own.

    I teach leadership and management skills. I stand in front of classrooms and train people to have the difficult conversations and share explicitly about their context and intent. That includes the lesson to leaders that proactive communication is critical to avoid damaging assumptions and that as leaders we are accountable for the perception of our organizations and teams. Now as a leader in our community of professionals, I have a responsibility to practice what I preach and speak clearly.

    The institutional racism and violence against people of color in our nation is unacceptable and must stop. Racism is not new and it is not limited to what we can see in our news feeds. We in the talent development community have seen it in job interviews, talent review meetings, leadership pipelines, and board rooms.

    We stand broken-hearted but proudly with the communities across the nation who are making their deep pain explicit and visible for others. And we are committed to listening and putting in the work as a chapter to become more inclusive and supportive of all the talent in Southeastern Wisconsin.

    This is our cause.

    SEWI-ATD is an organization of professionals who believe in the potential of human beings to learn, grow, and improve. We have been trained—and train others—how to listen for understanding, how to set expectations and build culture, and how to coach others through their blind spots. We understand the need for reinforcement of learning and how to help transfer knowledge and awareness into action. Right now, our communities need these skills more than ever. And so we have a responsibility to act.

    Some of us have already been leading this work, knowing that our communities of talent cannot flourish when we are divided by our skin color, ZIP code, or identity. We are grateful for your guiding examples. Others of us are being asked to step beyond our personal comfort zones in order to help. Wherever you are in your own journey, know that we at SEWI-ATD are here to support you.

    The nation, our state, the organizations and communities to which our members belong all have a lot of learning to do. Let’s get to it.


    I would ask those in our community of learning professionals to help us all to learn.

    • If you are aware of resources, events, or best practices to support us as we work, we have created a space to allow you to submit them to be shared with the membership. Use the link here to add your ideas. 
    • In addition to exploring these ourselves, we as a board will continue to have challenging conversations about our organization and the content we produce, and to plan for the future with inclusivity at the forefront of our minds.

    Matt Meuleners

    Chapter President, SEWI-ATD

  • May 19, 2020 10:10 AM | Anonymous member

    Jody DieleJody Delie is one of SEWI-ATD's newer members.

    She brings skills in strategic marketing, expert communication and storytelling to the chapter.

    She states that her superpower is in relationship building.

    Leading with Clarity, Connection, and Courage

    What makes a great leader? During the May virtual event with Professional Executive Coach, Cindy Warner, we learned it’s all about leading with clarity, connection, and courage. Great leaders possess three keen abilities -- clarity of thought, capability to connect on an emotional level with others, and the courage to lead organizations forward. It’s an approach Warner calls “whole leadership.”

    Why is the balance of these abilities so important? Organizations need effective leadership at many levels to have sustainable success. In the absence of effective leadership, people disengage, and the company vision and goals become much harder to achieve. So, how can we learn to lead more effectively? Cindy offers well-researched scientific answers.

    Have you ever felt like you were coming from a completely different perspective than another leader? There is a valid reason for that. Did you know that we have three brains, not just one?Well, we do. Everyone has a default brain, yet the best leaders are those that connect and tap into all three brains. Let me explain.

    First, there is a “Clarity Brain,” leading with your head. Its pros are logic, problem-solving, creativity, and verbal communication. People who lead with their clarity brain are often great at organizing, problem-solving, and navigating the world. Sometimes clarity brain leaders can be rigid in their thinking and can lack empathy because they are so focused on the thinking. Ever heard of analysis paralysis?

    Next up is the “Courage Brain.” Have you ever heard of gut instinct? It originates quite literally in your core and digestive tract. Pros of people who lead with their gut are pragmatism, getting things done, making decisions and taking risks. Sometimes these leaders can be overly focused on getting things done and may lack patience for people who are not where they are. You might find them to be somewhat disorganized and could have typos in their emails.

    The last brain is all about the heart. It’s the “Connection Brain.” Our heart brain has 5,000 times the electromagnetic force of our head brain. It seeks out, learns, and remembers things that intuitively matter to us in our life and our work. Our connection brain is where emotions begin. Where we learn empathy, collaboration, and inspiration. People who lead with heart tend to be warm, good social mixers, make others feel comfortable, are kind and thoughtful, and care about engagement. Conversely, those who lead with their heart brain can sometimes be passive aggressive with their feelings or can get stuck in emotion.

    Ask yourself, which brain is the default for me and my organization? What is your most used method in leadership development – clarity, connection, or courage?

    For many, the way we teach leadership development is mostly using clarity, especially in assessment. Our hearts and core don’t learn the same way our head does, they are not about logic and language. If we are trying to teach people connection and courage by using our head brain, we are using the wrong tool for the job. Think of it this way, we are trying to use a wrench to pound a nail. So, what can we do?

    Awareness is a great place to start. To the best of your ability, meet those around you where they are to find common ground and build from there. Intentionally ask yourself and other leaders to engage in this deliberate thought process.

    Consider the answers to these questions to guide your leadership decisions, approach talent development, and use this to communicate more effectively to all the brains who are listening:

    Clarity: What do I think about this? What will they think about it?

    Connection: How do I feel about it? How will they react?

    Courage: What do I want to do about it? What do I want them to do with it/what action do I want them to take?

    Always validate emotions. If someone is having a strong emotion, they need validation of that emotion. Refrain from saying, I know how you feel. You really don’t know how they feel, and it makes it about you, not about them. Meet them where they are first. They need their feelings heard before they can move on.

    In coaching opportunities, meet them in their default and invite the other two brains to the table. Carefully coach them to think through situations with all three brains. You can do this by asking questions, “Would you explain your thought process?” “How do you feel about this?” “How will this affect culture or engagement?” “What are you going to do next?” These types of questions help build an action plan that accounts for all facets. Thank them for taking the time and end with statements that support their default brain.

    Cindy has served as an executive coach and leadership development expert for more than two decades. To learn more about Cindy Warner, visit cwarnercoach.com For a deeper view on this topic, check out her new book, Leading with Clarity, Connection & Courage.

  • May 06, 2020 6:35 PM | Anonymous member

          Janet Kloser,

         Learning and Development Manager,


    You can’t be a leader without followers, and people aren’t going to want to follow you if you have the “my way or the highway” mentality. That’s why managers need to be trained with empathy, emotional intelligence (EI), and compassion. Let’s review the differences:

    • Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of another.
    • EI is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express your emotions thoughtfully.
    • Compassion consists of sympathy and concern for others.

    When it comes to empathy, you don’t have to agree with someone to be empathetic. Words like “It sounds like…” or “You must be feeling…” allow people to see you are acknowledging how they feel. It’s a powerful way of showing that you heard them and also that you recognize the impact it had on them.

    What you shouldn’t do when someone needs empathy is compare what’s happening with that individual to someone else’s situation—“You lost one day’s worth of email? When Bill’s computer crashed, he lost all of his research.”

    EI Versus IQ

    Research shows EI is much more of an indicator of a successful leader than IQ. This is great news because unlike someone’s IQ, emotional intelligence can be learned and continuously improved upon, which we reinforce in our Emotionally Intelligent Leader class.

    EI Skills

    • Reading body language
    • Deciphering tone of voice
    • Hearing word choices
    • Putting it all together
    • Meeting people where they are
    • Asking for clarity to better understand a situation

    A very useful quality of an emotionally intelligent leader is his or her ability to develop employees. Someone with an abundance of EI is usually a great coach, one who gives spot-on feedback and is successful at working through conflict. An EI leader is going to manage people more effectively as individuals, driving employee engagement and retention, and often the bottom line.

    Don’t Underestimate Compassion

    Compassionate leaders understand that “I” isn’t an especially useful conversation starter, instead, they use “we” to help people feel like they are all in it together.

    An important part of compassion is giving an employee your full attention. The amount of time you spend talking to and listening to employees is a sign of how important you consider them to be. During your time together, discussions (and disagreements) about work should be encouraged. When listened to, employees feel good about themselves and can become more committed to doing their job well.

    Actions and attitudes are contagious. If a leader leads from a stressed out, “my way” kind place, everyone will be stressed and unhappy. But if a leader is mindful and takes into account empathy, EI, and compassion, there’s a good chance people will collaborate, share ideas, and feel valued.

    The African Zulu tribe got it right. Their greeting, Sawubona means “I see you, you are important to me, and I value you.”

  • May 02, 2020 7:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While, accessibility in learning means different things to different people, we know about the importance of it in the talent development industry. Review these tools to help you understand how you can address accessibility in your learning.




    If you are interested in chatting more about this important topic, join the May 15 Learning and Talent Leaders PDN virtual event.  We hope you can join us!

  • April 19, 2020 2:37 PM | Anonymous member

    By Sue Deisinger, Learning Strategy Consultant,

    The CARA Group

    In today’s COVID-19 environment, learning professionals are being asked to quickly transform Instructor Led Training (ILT) to Virtual-Instructor Led Training (V-ILT). The good news is that most Instructional Designers have the transformation skills needed, and companies have the technologies needed, to support V-ILT. The challenge is the volume of work and the speed at which it must be accomplished.

    The CARA Group has identified Five Best Practices to help accelerate the transformation process.

    1 – Align with Business Strategy

    Start with defining a set of criteria to ensure that the work is aligned with the business strategy to separate the “wants” from the “needs”. Once the true needs are determined, create a prioritized Action Plan. Communicate the results back to the Program Sponsors to manage their expectations. If a program was not prioritized, perhaps the respective Program Sponsor can conduct a simple web-meeting or webinar as an alternative.

    2 – Manage Scope

    Using the prioritized Action Plan, review the program with the Program Sponsor and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Explain the difference between ILT, V-ILT and a Webinar (a webinar requires no activities). Determine whether this will be a simple transformation with no content or learning objective changes or a complex conversion with some content and/or learning objective changes, which will take more time and effort. Agree on a protocol for managing scope, as there is a strong tendency for SMEs to want to change or update content during the conversion process.

    3 – Optimize the Learner Experience: Rich Interactive Training Anytime, Anywhere

    Before jumping into the actual transformation work, it is important to educate the Program Sponsor and the SMEs on the power of V-ILT technologies and how they can be used to create effective learning experiences.

    V-ILT, designed correctly, offers many of the same learner experiences as traditional ILT. Instructors can present mini-lectures, facilitate activities and discussions. Participants can work individually and in small groups, raise their hand to ask questions and use resource material.

    Video projection of both the Instructor and Participants help keep the Participants engaged and accountable, creating “virtual eye contact,” allowing everyone to read facial expressions and body language. Video also brings a personal element to the program, as the members share and view each other’s virtual work environment.

    Content and activity designs can leverage screen-sharing, whiteboards, polling, chat, small group breakouts, games and quizzes. Many V-ILT systems also allow the Instructor to gauge individual and overall group attentiveness at any point with a visual attention indicator.

    Instructional Designers work with the SME’s create a design to ensure that the learners remain engaged during class and help them retain the knowledge and skills afterward.

    4 – Deploying V-ILT: Practical Matters

    Deploying V-ILT requires different types of logistical planning than traditional ILT. Instructor and Participant job-aids are very helpful in guiding them in the use of these unique tools.

    Instructors need to be comfortable and proficient delivering the V-ILT version of the program. Train-the-Trainer programs should include the business reason for converting from ILT to V-ILT, an overview of the new program, a system test, how to use the system features, how to trouble-shoot and an opportunity to practice. On the day of the program, the Instructor should login to the system 15-30 minutes prior to ensure that everything is ready to go. Someone from the learning team should be assigned to support the Instructor during the V-ILT with classroom management, at least for the first few sessions. Participant login issues, late arrivals and technical issues can really distract and rattle a new V-ILT Instructor.

    Participants should be required to do a system test a few days prior to the program. Engage the IT department to support this activity so that they will be ready to quickly answer participant questions. In addition, Participants should find a quiet, dedicated space and login 15 minutes prior to the start of the V-ILT to ensure they are ready for class.

    When scheduling multi-hour programs, plan 30-60 minute breaks for both the Instructors and Participants to allow them to attend to both business and personal matters. Note that Instructors often have follow-up participant questions after the end of the formal session and then need to get ready for the next program.

    5 – Include a Change Management Strategy and Plan

    Managing leaders’, Instructors’ and learners’ expectations is essential for successful transformation to V-ILT. Resistance may show up in limited registrations, no-shows and other non-productive behaviors. A well-executed Change Management strategy can proactively avoid these types of issues. A key element is a robust communication plan for everyone involved, describing the business case for change, the new V-ILT programs, who is impacted, expectations, timelines and contact information. In addition, the strategy should include a plan to measure and report adoption on a routine basis.

    Please connect with us if you could use help with transforming ILT to V-ILT or simply want to talk about your current situation as you ponder next steps. We’re here to help!

  • March 15, 2020 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    Written by Kathy Price 

    Director, Learning & Development, Instructors at MRA - The Management Association

    LIKE BEN FRANKLIN ONCE SAID, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

    Making the most of your time ranks up there as one of the best skills you can master. How you manage your time affects everything you do. It determines if you are running late, bogged down at work, or steadily humming along.

    To be a successful time manager, set aside regular planning time in your calendar. If you’re like most busy professionals, chances are if it’s not in your calendar, it’s not happening.

    Another thing to consider is taking MRA’s Time Management class, where you will evaluate your current habits and identify the behaviors, time wasters, and interrupters preventing you from using your time to its full potential. You’ll be armed with a variety of tools, which when implemented, will help you be more effective in scheduling your priorities.

    In this class, we use Stephen Covey’s Four Quadrants to Be Productive, where you can schedule your week according to what’s most important to you and what will have the most meaningful results. Check out this quick overview:

    I: Urgent and important. The title says it all. These are the tasks that need your immediate attention. Think deadlines, crises, and persistent problems. But be aware, too much time here leads to constantly putting out fires, stress, and burnout.

    II: Important and not urgent. Tasks that are not urgent but important look like strategic planning, relationship building, preparation, education—personal development activities. Things we know we need to do but seldom get around to doing, because they don’t feel urgent. Yet these are the activities that will set you apart as a leader.

    III: Urgent and not important. How many interruptions, phone calls, texts, and meetings do you experience in a day? There are a lot, and many are urgent but not important (like the email that needs your timely reply for next week’s potluck lunch). People can get in trouble in this space—it feels efficient spending time here, but ultimately, it’s not effective if it takes time away from more important priorities.

    IV: Not urgent and not important.This could be called unintentionally irresponsible. Getting lost on the internet, checking out social media posts, procrastination, perfectionism—all time-wasting activities that offer little or no work value. These are the behaviors you need to delete.

    Figuring out what quadrants you tend to work in is a lightbulb moment. Priorities are analyzed, and you actually see where you are spending your time. It’s similar to tracking your food habits—the first task is to write down everything you eat. Time journals can be as shocking as food journals, and are a great place to start your journey from awareness to effectiveness.

    Everyone is given the same amount of time, a precious, nonrenewable resource. It’s important to be intentional and purposeful in what you do with it. Spend more time above the line, investing in what’s important.

    Kathy Price

    MRA - The Management Association

    Director, Learning & Development, Instructors


    For more information on Time Management class schedules, visit the MRA website. This class can be offered onsite for your group and virtually for your convenience.

    Source: Kathy Price, MRA Edge, © 2020 MRA – The Management Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

    For more information, visit www.mranet.org.

  • February 11, 2020 5:17 PM | Anonymous member

    Written by Jack J. Phillips, PhD, Chairman of ROI Institute

    Have you ever asked top executives or a chief financial officer about the value they would like to see from talent development? How many discussions have you had about the value of learning with top executives?

    We have had many of those conversations routinely over the past 25 years, and we know clearly what they need. Their responses have been documented quite well, dating back to a major study that we conducted with ATD nearly a decade ago. That study, involving Fortune 500 CEOs, indicated that 96 percent of executives wanted to see a business connection to learning. Yet, at that time, only 8 percent of them had that type of data. This is their #1 desired data category. Also, 74 percent of the executives wanted to see the ROI from learning investments, but only 4 percent said they have it now. This is their #2 measure. The #1 measure provided to executives from L&D was reaction data, but only 28 percent wanted to see this category of data.

    This study, first published in our book with ATD, Measuring for Success, was a wake-up call for many CLOs and others involved in talent development.1 Collectively, they said we must do better. The good news is that was 10 years ago. We are well on the way.

    More recent data from the Business Intelligence Council of Chief Learning Officer Magazine showed that improvements are on the way. When asked about how the learning organization shows its contribution to the broader enterprise, 36 percent said they use business data for the request, and 22 percent say they use ROI. When asked if they plan to implement ROI, 49.6 percent said they planned to implement ROI at some point in the future. All totaled, 71.2 percent of respondents said they were either using ROI or planning to implement it. We think that is a little ambitious, although it came from 335 CLOs.

    Fast forward to 2017, we noticed a major benchmarking report from Training Magazine. This report examined the organizations that were “Hall of Famers” in their awards system. These are the organizations that are consistently at the top of their 125 best learning organizations lists. These “Hall of Famers” are very important for benchmarking because others want to know what makes them so successful. The opening statement in the report states,

    “Ultimately, the success of any program is based on whether it improves business results.”

    ~Training Top 10 Hall of Fame—May 2017

    These top learning organizations are advising that you must connect learning to the business to capture executive attention. This benchmarking report is generated every year. In the next year, 2018, this report contained three best practice case studies; one was on onboarding, another was an actual ROI calculation on a follow-up basis, and the third was an ROI forecast. You can see that we are making progress to meet the request from top executives.

    What can you do if you are not showing the business value of learning? You can take five very important steps: 

    1. Be proactive. Don’t wait for the request to show business value. Start delivering business value on a major program now. Take charge and drive the evaluation initiative. Keep ROI on your agenda, not your executive’s agenda.

    2. Be selective on which programs you evaluate at the business impact and ROI levels. Use ROI for programs that are very expensive, strategic, important to organizations, and yes, those that attract executive attention. That will usually be about 10-20 percent of the programs each year at the impact level and approximately 5-10 percent at the ROI level.

    3. Change the thinking of the complete learning cycle. Start with why for your programs, connect it to the business measure at the beginning. Then make sure you have the right solution. Next, expect success with very specific objectives all the way through to impact and share them with the team. With this approach, you are designing for the results you need. With the business data clearly defined in the beginning, you will have the desired results at the end.

    4. Share the joy. Make sure that the entire team is involved in designing, developing, and implementing learning and development to deliver impact. Designers, developers, facilitators, participants, and managers of participants are critical to achieving impact success. Each stakeholder has a role, not just the evaluator. This approach makes a world of difference.

    5. Think about all the benefits. While business data will convince executives to continue to fund your programs, connecting to the business will help you build partnerships with business leaders, obtain needed support to make programs more effective, and secure the commitment you need to be successful.

    Collectively, the team can make a difference using the ROI Methodology, the most used evaluation system in the world. The good news is that the ROI Certification is coming to Southeast Wisconsin, hosted by Bank Five Nine June 23-25, 2020. To learn more contact Andy Vance at andy@roiinstitute.net.


    1. Phillips, Jack J., and Patti P. Phillips. Measuring for Success. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press. (2009) Paperback

    About the Author

    Dr. Jack J. Phillips, a world-renowned expert on accountability, measurement, and evaluation, is chairman of ROI Institute, Inc. Phillips provides consulting services for Fortune 500 companies and major global organizations. The author or editor of more than 100 books, he conducts workshops and presents at conferences throughout the world.

    Phillips has received several awards for his books and work. On three occasions, Meeting News named him one of the 25 Most Powerful People in the Meetings and Events Industry, based on his work on ROI. The Society for Human Resource Management presented him an award for one of his books and honored a Phillips ROI study with its highest award for creativity. The American Society for Training and Development gave him its highest award, Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Development for his work on ROI. The International Society for Performance Improvement presented Jack with its highest award, the Thomas F. Gilbert Award, for his contribution to human performance technology. In 2019, Jack, along with his wife Patti P. Phillips, received the Distinguished Contributor Award by the Center for Talent Reporting for their contribution to the measurement and management of human capital.

    His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and Fortune magazine. He has been interviewed by several television programs, including CNN. Phillips served as President of the International Society for Performance Improvement.

    Jack regularly consults with clients in manufacturing, service, and government organizations in 70 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

  • October 30, 2019 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    Written by Rachel Ojala DumkeTalent Development Manager for First Bank Financial Centre

    …The first of a four-part series on preventative health in learning and development.

    The skin is the largest and most visible organ. It is among the first to reveal what is going on inside our bodies. This “canvas” is decorated and adorned to reflect, in part, who we are. It wears the choices we make, whether in the permanence of a tattoo or a fleeting smile.

    Just as your skin plays a role in telling your personal story, reflects your physical and emotional health, and contributes to others’ perceptions of what one is about to experience in your presence, so too does the “skin” of your learning and development department. The presentation of your learning solutions (e.g. your LMS homepage, ILT participant materials, vILT welcome screen and presentation, e-learning content, internal communications, collateral, etc.) convey the following: 

    1. Your purpose:

    - What story does it tell?

    - Does it align with the organization?

    - If your department were gone, would employees care? Why? The value of what you offer is rooted in that response.

    2. The health/state of your department:

    - Does it strengthen your organization’s health?

    - Is it reflective of your organization’s learning culture, consistent interdepartmental collaboration and employee knowledge-sharing?

    3. The learner experience:

    - What learning formats (think: ILT, vILT, e-learning, blended) are used?

    - What learning styles (think: VAKT) are being catered to, if not all?

    - What is the learner supposed to feel at various intervals?

    - What is the return on the learners (monetary/time) investment?

    In times of rapid organizational change and growth, it is easy to lose sight of small details. Over time, that takes its toll on the “skin.” Materials become dated, messages fall out of sync, accuracy suffers and the wrong channels are used. As a result, our business partners and others we serve stop listening.

    Whether you are a department of one or many, the following three “preventative health” practices* will ensure the image you project is an accurate reflection of who you are:

    1. Create a style guide (for all channels of communication and development) and adhere to it.

    2. Maintain an audit schedule and make core programs a priority.

    3. Develop a cross-departmental learning council.

    Assign ownership of the aforementioned tips and integrate them into your team meeting agenda. Consistent execution will enhance the overall wellness of your department, attracting employees who want to access and share knowledge.

    Whether you call it your “skin,” “look and feel,” or “brand,” it matters. Done well, it is magnetic. It attracts the audience who would most benefit from what you have to offer and accelerates your ability to make a difference in others’ lives.

    * Keep an eye out for the three remaining blog posts in this four-part series in which all members of the Talent Development Team at First Bank Financial Centre will share their expertise.

    About the Author

    As a circus performer, turned banker, Rachel is committed to bringing the same comfort, joy and excitement that is experienced under the Big Top into each interaction with clients and colleagues.

    The seeming contradiction of performance expertise (acquired over 20+  years as an entertainer and competitor) with financial services expertise (acquired from over 20 years with global, regional and community banks) has provided an invaluable perspective aiding in:

    - strategic collaboration with internal and external business partners to bring creative thought into a highly regulated framework;

    - maximizing the engagement and expertise of talent to achieve desired business results, and

    - creating clients who are advocates of the First Bank Financial Centre brand.

    Her breadth of banking experience includes:

    - Retail Banking

    - Consumer Lending (sales and product development)

    - Talent Development (organizational strategy, program & curriculum design, and facilitation) - CPLP

    - Marketing Management (Credit Card and Customer Segments)

    - eBanking Management

  • October 20, 2019 6:31 PM | Anonymous

    Written by Daniel JakubowskiTalent Development Coordinator for Guardian Credit Union

    Feedback means many things to many different people. The word itself can conjure up a wide array of associations. For the purposes of our discussion, we will start with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which list three primary uses for the noun feedback:

    1. Helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc.;

    2. Something (such as information or electricity) that is returned to a machine, system, or process;

    3. An annoying and unwanted sound caused by signals being returned to an electronic sound system.

    While straightforward enough in its definition, feedback has been misused and misinterpreted since its first use in 1919, with individuals falling into camps about which of the three should be listed first. Throughout these blog posts, we will demonstrate that by taking small, but deliberate steps in how you approach giving feedback, we can be sure that you and your teams will fall firmly into the “helpful information” camp rather than the “annoying and unwanted sound” camp.

    To get to that point, this will be the first of three blog posts from SEWI-ATD that will take a closer look at feedback. Throughout these posts we will make some research-backed suggestions on how best to formulate and deliver your message for maximum impact.

    Why is Feedback Important?

    Communication is the first step toward creating a productive workplace. We firmly believe in creating a supportive work environment where everyone can reach their full potential, develop themselves and contribute to the Mission, Vision, and Values of the organization. However, the question to ask is how will we know if we are doing that? The answer is, by discussing it. In order for us to take stock of our goals as individuals and as an organization, we must define them and communicate their progress. Effective feedback is the first step to building that environment and opening the lines of communication between supervisors and their staff.

    As we will demonstrate throughout these texts, clear and effective performance feedback when delivered properly will bring the following benefits to you and your teams:

    • Eliminates uncertainty:

    o Lack of communication of performance and expected results that lead to stress and resentment and lack of security.

    o There tend to be gaps in how we perceive ourselves and how we are actually performing.

    • Engagement and Continuous Improvement:

    o Regular feedback means we are communicating regularly and exchanging information – engaging, as it were. We can use that information to improve and develop ourselves. Organizations with engaged workforces perform better.

    • Motivation to succeed:

    o While we might not like to give feedback, negative or otherwise, the research we present in this discussion will demonstrate how selecting the right feedback message, format, and delivery strategy will motivate you and your teams to improve and succeed.

    Lastly, and perhaps most crucially for us as Learning and Development Professionals, feedback is a crucial aspect of no less than four of the ten Areas of Expertise (AOEs) of the ATD Competency Model: Training Delivery, Performance Improvement, Coaching, and Change Management .

    Now that we’ve made a case for the importance and benefits of feedback, we will devote the remainder of this post to a useful framework for formulating your feedback message: The Center for Creative Leadership’s Situation, Behavior, Impact (SBI) Model.

    The Key to Effective Feedback: Situation, Behavior, Impact (SBI) Model

    Think about the last time you gave some negative feedback (at work or at home). Did the recipient respond: “Thanks for pointing that out! I whole-heartedly agree with your assessment of me!”

    Perhaps or perhaps not.

    As often as not, even if we have the best intentions, the responses range from denial to defensiveness to just plain ignoring or disregarding our message. However, if we adjust our message, we can go a long way toward ensuring we are heard as we want to be.

    In the most basic sense, feedback is communicating information about a person’s behavior. In order for behavior to be impacted by feedback, we must be sure that the feedback information is understood as we intend it. That involves carefully crafting our message. Getting other people to heed our advice is a challenge for everyone.

    The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has formulated a tool for delivering quality feedback which they call SBI: Situation, Behavior, Impact. Using this tool, the CCL advises to think of feedback information in terms of these three criteria. Effective feedback can be as little as three short sentences if they are formulated effectively. We will now briefly describe the three criteria and how best to formulate those sentences.

    Situation: describe the specific date, time, place, and context.

    Feedback should demonstrate specific information. When delivering feedback to your staff, make sure that you are clear and specific about when and how the behavior you want to address occurs. Also, be specific. Say things like, “yesterday during opening procedures,” “October 1st at 12:00 pm during the committee meeting in conference room A,” or “This week Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.” Avoid generalities like “all the time,” “often,” “3 times,” or “last week. ”

    Behavior: describe the observable behavior.

    This can be easy to lose to track of without concerted efforts, but feedback should focus on behavior, not individuals. Keep to objective facts. Don’t include your opinion, judgements, or rationalizations.

    Remember, you are not trying to fix anyone. You are either trying to change or encourage their behavior to improve their performance. Say what the person did: “you arrived at 9:10 when we expected you at 9:00 sharp,” or “your calculations in the report were inaccurate because you didn’t use the most recent data.”

    Don’t assume the reasons for this behavior. While you may think the person arrived late because they’re careless and overslept, or their calculations were wrong because they rushed to get them done, you don’t know and can’t know for sure. If your explanation is wrong, it will undermine your message. Worse yet, the judgements could make the person more defensive than they would have been. Stick to the observable actions.

    Don’t say things like “you were late again” or “you made a bunch of mistakes,” or “you rushed to meet the deadline and weren’t careful enough.” This goes the same for supportive judgements like “I remember when I was new,” or “I know traffic is bad in the morning.” It is very good to listen to the receiver’s situation and respond accordingly, but don’t water down your message of what they are doing.

    Remember, the behavior can be positive too! “You gave a very strong presentation in the committee meeting yesterday,” or “you solved that customer’s problem. ”

    Impact: describe how this behavior affects you, your work, or the team; answer the question “why do I care?”

    Before you give any feedback, you need to decide why you care. Sadly, not everyone cares about the same things that you do. Rather than fall on your fainting couch to know that members of your team have different priorities, take this opportunity to clearly lay out exactly why this matters.

    The person will need to know why this behavior is being addressed and what effect it is having. You can describe objective and measurable impact like “we just lost an important account” or “it created an unsafe situation where someone could have been injured.”

    Of course, you should avoid being overly dramatic with phrases like “they’ll shut us down” or “someone will get fired.” And be careful about cause and effect, conditional statements, or blame, like “If you hadn’t said that to our client, we wouldn’t have lost their business,” as you could be opening the door to a defensive denial, or resentful ignoring.

    You can also use subjective words like “upset,” “stressed,” or “worried,” but be sure you are only talking about your own feelings and not putting words in people’s mouths or blaming someone else for your own feelings. For example, “I felt stressed because we didn’t have enough people to cover the shift” or “I am worried that we will lose business if this happens regularly.”

    Also, don’t forget about positive impacts! You can say things like “grateful,” “proud” or “impressed.” For example, “I was impressed when you took care of the members concerns without outside help” or “I was grateful that you completed this project ahead of schedule.”

    Determining the precise impact of someone’s behavior is important. The other person is usually not aware that their actions are creating this effect. For instance, a person who tends to arrive late in the morning, might not realize how it causes stress for other members of the team, the receiver is much more likely to be motivated to change if the impact means something to them.

    Feedback is most effective when it follows the SBI format. SBI format is a brief statement that focuses on the specific Situation, the objective Behaviors demonstrated (not judgements or interpretations), and the Impact of this behavior (why do I care?).

    *** Part one of a three-part series*** More to follow. 


    i  Feedback. 2018. In Dictionary - Merriam-Webster for Android (Version 4.2.0) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/feedback.

    ii Feedback. 2018. In Dictionary - Merriam-Webster for Android (Version 4.2.0)

    iii Tugend, Alina. (2014, May 16). Uncertainty about jobs has a ripple effect. The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2018, from http://nytimes.com.

    iv  Vance, Robert J. (2006). Employee engagement and commitment [White Paper]. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from Society for Human Resource Management: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/Documents/Employee-Engagement-Commitment.pdf

    v Gentry, William A. & Young, Stephen F. (2017). Busting myths about feedback: What leaders should know [White Paper]. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from Center for Creative Leadership: https://www.ccl.org/articles/white-papers/busting-myths-feedback-leaders-know/

    vi Association for Talent Development. ATD Competency Model. Retrieved September 10, 2019, from https://www.td.org/certification/atd-competency-model

    vii Gentry, William A. & Young, Stephen F. (2017).

    viii Weitzel, Sloan R. (2000). Feedback that works: How to build and deliver your message. Center for Creative Leadership. ISBN (eBook) 978-1-923973-05-1

    ix Weitzel, Sloan R. (2000).

    x Weitzel, Sloan R. (2000).

    About the Author

    Dan Jakubowski is an internationally recognized Talent Development professional with over 14 years of experience in training and adult education. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and started his career as an English language teacher to adults in job training programs. Dan has extensive training experience in Russia and in Eastern Europe. He has facilitated learning to individuals representing more than 13 countries throughout the world and counting.

    Dan is currently the Talent Development Coordinator for Guardian Credit Union, a Milwaukee- based not for profit financial cooperative. He designs and delivers training and develop programs that focus on feedback, coaching, and helping all levels of the organization reach their full potential and deliver for our members. 

© Southeastern Wisconsin ATD

Contact Us
Phone: 608-204-9815

Association Managers
Maria Peot, CMP
Heather L. Dyer, CAE

Mailing Address
2820 Walton Commons, Suite 103
Madison, WI 53718
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software