Customizing Your Learning

Customizing Your Learning

For the past three days we have discussed our classes with: What Subject Specific Classes Can Do for You, Building the Foundation, and A Pathway to Learning. In combination, these posts have given you a clear picture of what it is we do with employee development classes and how we do it. There is still a remaining option that we have not discussed: customizing your learning.

But we are not locked in stone and think we have the answer to everyone’s training needs and employee development thoughts and ideas. Because of that we have available under the “Contact” tab on the banner line the ability for our customers to “GET IN TOUCH.” If you ever find a need for a program that you don’t already see on our site, you can get in touch to talk to us about customizing your learning.

You can address us on our Assessments, Classes, Custom Training, Writing or Speaking.

We have already received several requests from dealers wanting additional assessments or more classes. We are already working on specialized assessments, customer service, operations, selling, finance, and leadership. This will also lead to “Learning Paths” for each of these areas within both Parts and Service.

So, we ask simply: what would you like to see from us that we don’t already offer?

Never hesitate to get in touch! 

The time is now.

For more information, please visit our website at

Learning and Knowledge Retention

Learning and Knowledge Retention.

Since my early days in teaching athletics first in a Country Club setting and then at University, I have always been intrigued by how people learn. In the earliest form of learning, as a parent or a preschool teacher, the tried and true methodology: – Show – Tell – Show – Try. We start by showing you what we are going to teach you. Then we will tell you what we just showed you. Telling a story is usually the best method here. Then we will show you again. Finally, you will try it yourself. Depending on risk and degree of difficulty we might even get into a “with assistance” – “to assistance” – “solo” type of structure.

It works. It has always worked. But today we have a lot more knowledge and examples of learning methods to draw upon. And they really help, if we design the learning experience properly.

Some points to start with and consider: – Chanty Hyder, an intern at Survey Anyplace provides us six high level results of their surveys.

  1. The storage capacity of the human brain is virtually unlimited.
  2. The mind needs to be exercised like any other muscle in the body.
  3. Our attention spans are getting shorter. We are bombarded with more things online.
  4. You are never too old to learn
  5. After one hour, people retain less than 50% of the information presented
  6. To learn. The brain builds on existing knowledge

I started teaching in a classroom at a very prestigious University. I was teaching students in the Physical Education Majors how to coach and teach water sports. We used seventy-five-minute lectures, followed by seventy-five minute “in the water” case examples of the lecture content. Two and a Half hours, three days a week. Tough duty. I had a class size of between 16 and 32 students, with one sometimes two teaching assistants.

At Learning Without Scars we started with a three-day classroom format, eight hours each day. That evolved to a two-day, fifteen-hour format. Within that structure we had four blocks of specific operations learning.

Then webinars arrived when everyone tried to reduce the cost of learning for equipment dealers. The webinars were first seventy-five minutes which we then shortened to one hour. I really didn’t like the webinar approach as a teacher as I could not see the students. As a teacher I rely on visual signals, facial or body language, to determine actual learning and comprehension.

Then we used a 3D camera and we broke the learning sessions down to ten to fifteen-minute increments, sometimes these increments were as short as five minutes BUT never more than fifteen minutes. At those breaks I would turn off the audio-visual presentation and appear in camera and talk to the group of students.

Today, we have Skype, and Zoom, and Microsoft with Teams and Google providing software that allows us to see each other and share screens and emulate a classroom type of experience. This has helped in the learning process.

That still requires a schedule that the students and the teachers have to fit in to their daily lives. That is where internet-based learning takes over. Learning is available when you want it and where you want it. You can fit the learning into your life and your schedule.

So back to Ms. Hyder and her points in the paper “7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Memory and Knowledge Retention” I referenced above. This is how we have designed and continue to refine our classes.

Each class follows a similar format. We have a Pretest to ascertain the understanding each student has about the course content before they start the class. Then we will assign reading materials, then they enter a slide show with embedded audio tracks. This segment will end or sometimes will have a film clip inserted into the segment. Then there is a short quiz. Then another segment sometimes with a quiz or perhaps a short survey or a short essay. Each segment is approximately ten to fifteen minutes in length and a class consists of eight to ten segments. Finally, there is an assessment of the learning of each student at the end of the class. We require a score of 80% in order to pass out of each class and go on to another. The student can repeat the class as many times as they want, however, they can only take the final assessment three times before we block them if they haven’t achieved the 80% score.

This is in keeping with the current “learning and retention” theory in use today. At Learning Without Scars we are constantly researching and adapting. As new techniques and methods are identified that provide better results, we adjust our programs.

I believe, more than ever, that in today’s work environment the dealership must be more involved in training. This training has to be in the most effective and efficient method possible. That way they will be able to attract more talented and motivated employees. One of my Core Beliefs is that Passionate People Perform. Your employees will make or break your business. With talented people you will prevail and provide long lasting high levels of customer service and loyal customers. Without them you won’t. It is as simple as that.

The Time is Now.   

Continual Individual Employee Development

Continual Individual Employee Development

One of the challenges we face as a society today, which is in my opinion the most daunting of all, is the ability that we have, as employers, to find, attract, hire and retain talented employees.

As an employee in this environment there are also serious challenges. The world is changing at a rate that is unprecedented. When I was in University, I took a class in number theory as part of my major in mathematics and physics. That was my first year. At the same time, in California, children in grade school were being taught the same theory. It was obvious then that I had a head start of roughly ten years.

In the STEM learning programs in the schools today changes are even more rapid. With Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Realties, 5G networks, data streaming and data analytics, autonomous transportation, and the like the younger generations today are confronted with the truth that their learning, their formal schooling, is not going to last through their lifetime like it has been so far.

The need for each individual to continue to learn, and grow, and read, is paramount. Further we will need to have a second cycle through “schools.” This is leading to more “internet based” learning programs. There will be many changes to deal with in business. This is the truth of this “New Reality.”

Each individual employee’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges will become more critical than at any time in history. Welcome to the new year, 2020, and even more importantly welcome to the new decade.

The Time is Now


What Is Training? #MondayBlogs

During the economic downturn, the first budget to be slashed was the training, or employee development, budget.

When it’s time to tighten our belts, training is the first thing to go.

But it is clear that employees need to invest in your business, just as you invest in your employees.  One of the things I teach in our classes is that our procedures and methods must be understood, and agreed upon, by the team.  In other words, your employees must not only understand what they are doing and why they are doing it, but agree with the goal and the approach to that goal.

Lately, we’ve seen more room for employee development again in the budgets.  We have also seen employees taking a greater role and a more vested interest in their business’ success when they are provided with a foundation through training.

People are our greatest asset.  They are your heroes with your customers, and they help to build the relationships that give a business “customers for life.”

It is crucial that we never forget that, although our industry is equipment, it is the people who make or break it for a business.

We must make an investment in the future through providing our employees with the training and tools they need to grow in our business.  This is an investment that benefits every aspect of the business.

The time is now.


How Does Training Work? #MondayBlogs

To say that we are excited about our employee development programs would be an understatement.  We know that what we do is groundbreaking for our industry, and a positive movement for employers, employees, and customers alike.

For too long, training budgets were non-existent.  Now that we have clear paths forward for employee growth and excellence, the video below shows you a glimpse of how a Learning Without Scars program works.

The time is now.


Let’s Get Serious About Our Employees #MarketingMonday

Some thoughts for your consideration:

You have seen over the past two to three weeks a change in the approach to the blog. We have been exposing Vimeo based film clips. You have seen our promotional trailer, the animation of Socrates, an introduction to the company and a video clip on market segmentation. I want today to present a situation and then pose some questions in the Socratic Manner. Socratic teaching forces people to come to their own conclusions.

Employees transition through three or four stages in their career:

  • Enthusiastic Beginner
  • Disillusioned Learner
  • Capable but Cautious Performer
  • Self-Reliant Achiever


Unfortunately, it is their immediate supervisor that has a direct impact on this transition. Too often we get stuck at the Disillusioned Learner as a result of the style of the boss or the lack of any interest from the boss in the employee.


As individuals as we move from school to work we have to overcome a series of things that I will call “personal obstacles.” These things come from our families, our friends and peers and our schools. I have often said we are taught to be obedient in our developmental years and when we get to the workforce we are asked to think on our own.


These obstacles normally are


  • We are told everything we want to do is impossible
  • We are afraid of hurting those we love by pursuing our own dreams
  • We are afraid we will fail in pursuit of our dreams.
  • We are afraid to succeed.


One of the important questions we need to ask of ourselves is “what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”


In our training approach, we are developing an employee development program that will take each employee in the parts and service groups from the enthusiastic beginner to a self-reliant achiever. My question is “how do you achieve that today?


The time is now.