Kellie’s Thoughts: Learning and Development in 2020… and Beyond!

Terms I have heard that describe 2020 include: 

  • dumpster fire
  • forgettable 
  • crazy 
  • bad dream

These are the “safe for work” terms I can share. There are countless others that are appropriate for after hours. 

Many firms had to quickly pivot in March 2020 to accommodate the remote need for learning and corporate training. One firm I was actively involved with conducted training face to face. Incorporating a live online, or for that matter, self-directed learning was not an immediate priority. In fact, for many institutions, face to face instruction accounted for nearly 40% of course instruction (TD, 2020.)

The need to incorporate other learning delivery methods exists. As we move into 2021, what might training techniques and mediums look like? I believe that COVID will have lasting effects on how classroom time is spent and how learning is delivered. 

Virtual learning opportunities will increase 

A challenge I have seen has been changing a course from face-to-face to live online delivery. The experience is not the same when delivering a class in person versus live online. Body language, distractions, and fatigue are challenges that present themselves online that are not as prevalent in the classroom. 

Consider adjusting content to allow learners to engage in activities like: 

  • breakout rooms
  • screen sharing 
  • brainstorming 
  • polling 

Ensure the virtual delivery platform you are using will accommodate various activities. The benefits to online course delivery are an expanded learner reach and reductions in travel time. These can add revenue and reduce costs for an organization. I foresee an increase in these course offerings in the future. 

More mobile self-directed learning options 

People like to learn on their time and at their pace. I believe it will benefit organizations to offer more self-directed learning opportunities. This would include “micro bites” of “need to know” information. 

A quick Google search will yield some general statistics about mobile users. By 2025, nearly 3/4 of internet users will search the internet using a mobile device (CNBC, 2019).  Currently, only 40% of learners use a smartphone to access self-paced training (TD, 2020). There is an opportunity to develop create training that learners can access on the go, and on their own time. 

“Virtual Reality” is more of a reality 

Taking a deeper look into the future, will virtual reality training may become more accessible. 

Virtual reality “VR” is useful for simulations and gives learners the chance to practice skills in a safe environment. “VR” is also expensive, requires equipment, and is not always mobile. With continued advancements in technology, learners may have the opportunity to practice and perfect simulated tasks in their own homes. This gives the potential to reduce some costs for organizations that use this training tool.

As we look back at the year and look forward to the future. What how would you like to see your training programs improve? Let’s plan 2021 and beyond together! 

Happy Holidays from Kellie and Momo! 


How to Grow Long Term Leaders? Avoiding the “One and Done.”

Many of us, myself included have participated in a leadership development program, read a book, or listened to a podcast about leadership. Most of us have left a leadership development program feeling energized and full of new ideas, only to leave those ideas at the door we came through. 

I have both taken and been involved in the planning of many leadership development programs in my career. Many programs suffer from a “one and done” problem. (Note the reference to college basketball. I’m a college basketball scandal follower.)

There is a shift in the workforce like none other, with five generations of people contributing to the workforce in some capacity. Millennials, born approximately in the early 1980’s through mid 1990’s, are largely moving up the ranks.  64% of millennials cite that their employers are not fully developing their leadership skills (HRPA, 2016); yet 79% of CEO’s worldwide are concerned that lack of essential skills in the workforce is hindering their organizational growth (LinkedIn, 2019).  How do organizations design leadership development programs that provide value and skill future workforce leaders crave? 

Plan with a purpose

The “one and done” leadership development approach occurs when organizations need to meet an objective or see a general need for leadership skills, and apply a “one size fits all” approach to the program. The issue is, leaders at different stages in their careers have different needs and challenges. Consider: 

  • The organizational problem being addressed? 
  • The 2-3 challenges employees are facing because of the problem? 
  • What steps can employees and the organization take to address the problem? 
  • How will employees use what they learned on the job? 

A needs analysis, even simple in nature can help to uncover some basic benchmark skills employees have and the challenges they are facing. The data revealed from the analysis can help an organization frame their program in a way that employees get greater value from the results. 

Don’t set it and forget it 

What happens after the program is equally as important. Post-program follow up and assessment is key to supporting employees, allowing them to implement what they have learned. This may look like: 

One-on-one meetings

Holding a one-on-one meeting with employees to discuss and together the employee and their manager can create a roadmap to help them develop the skills they learned. 

Keep the content flowing

Consider developing small “micro” sized bites of content to help demonstrate how newly trained leaders can implement the skills they learned from the program. Distribute this content over a period of time to participants to support their learning. 


Quantify your efforts by creating some simple measures to demonstrate the success of your program. How many participants have been promoted? Have metrics increased or decreased? Program measurement is vital to understanding the success of your program. 

Circle of trust

Creating a community of practice among your program participants will help them learn and grow from each other. Consider using social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) or programs like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to lead follow up discussions among program participants. Encourage mentorship among novice and experienced leaders. 

Do you want to develop long term leaders in your organization? Contact me and together let’s develop a plan to grow your team’s leadership skills.


LinkedIn 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 2020

HRPA, HR & Millennials Insights into your New Human Capital, 2016

Why Leadership-Development Programs Fail, McKinsey Quarterly, 2014 

Need a mentor? 3 Ways to Find your Professional Match

A supportive mentoring relationship can help a new agent with a budding real estate career flourish with success.

The real estate industry is like a complicated relationship, often full of ups, downs and uncharted waters. Mentoring relationships can play a valuable role in the success of new real estate agents navigating the rough seas of real estate.

A study conducted by Inman revealed that 78.55 percent of respondents — almost 60 percent of them with more than 10 years in the business — said brokerages should prioritize providing a mentor for new agents. And according to 32.67 percent of those surveyed, the single most important training for new agents was mentorship.

With the need for mentors deemed an important part of new agent training, it’s important to understand exactly what mentorship is, how new agents can find meaningful mentoring relationships and how agents can define what type of business relationship they are looking for.

Coaching vs. mentoring


A coaching relationship is performance-driven and typically short-term in nature. The goal of coaching is to help an agent improve a specific skill.

Much like a singer would hire a vocal coach, real estate agents could hire a business coach to help them improve negotiating and presentation skills. Agents might also seek a business coach to help them improve their business systems.


Mentoring is a mutual relationship between two individuals who want to benefit from personal growth. A mentoring relationship is about providing guidance, and a mentor can provide support to an agent as they navigate their new real estate career.

The foundation of a mentoring relationship is trust and respect. A new agent may seek out a mentoring relationship to better understand how to model behavior within their brokerage or association or to understand their different business roles.

How can new agents find a mentor?

Most agents want to see new agents grow and succeed in real estate. If you are a new agent looking for a mentor, here are three suggestions for exploring meaningful mentoring relationships.

Networking groups

There are many networking groups with a real estate focus. These groups can be a good place to find like-minded agents who would be willing to share their knowledge and support with a new agent.

Networking groups can also be a great place to seek out a mentor who you can share with. Individual growth happens by learning from others who have different skills and business models.

Your brokerage

Get to know agents in your brokerage, and seek a mentoring relationship with an agent you have a good relationship with. A mentor in your brokerage can help you understand and navigate office protocol.

A brokerage mentor can help support you through new agent training and can be someone to offer support as new business experiences occur.

Your local association

If you are a new agent looking to get involved in volunteering, or if you are looking to gain a better understanding of your association benefits, reach out to local committee members or a member of your leadership team.

Many agents who volunteer with their association are willing to share experiences and support new agents who want to get involved in their real estate community. Leadership and committee volunteers can also learn from the experience and perspective that a new broker can offer.

A supportive mentoring relationship can help a new agent with a budding real estate career flourish with success.

Are you interested in developing a lasting mentorship program in your organization? Contact me to discuss your organization’s needs.

Originally written for, December 2018.

Is Learning to “Communicate Effectively”​ as Easy as it Sounds?


[ kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuhn ]


  1. the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.
  2. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs… (, 2020). 

I’m not in the minority when I say that at times, I am a bad communicator. We are humans. Our desire to be heard is a reason why we often communicate without listening or allowing the other party to exchange ideas. 

Communication happens in many ways. Body language, tone, and listening help to round out effective communication. Job mistakes and misunderstandings arise because of a lack of listening, communication, and meeting of the minds. Listening with the intent to respond rather than with respect and understanding can create problems in meetings and on the job. Speaking in a specific tone can be offensive. Body language can make communication unclear and even offensive in some cultures. 

How do we train employees to be effective communicators? Humans are complex. Adult learning is complex. Adult learners want skills to be relevant and easy to apply to their jobs. Additionally, motivation plays a large role in adult learning. How can we teach teams to be effective communicators? Consider making the skill of effective communication: 

  • Relevant to their job,
  • Give employees a chance to apply the skill and, 
  • Motivate employees to learn. 


Training must be relevant to an employee’s job role. A generic course on effective communication means nothing to an employee who specializes in product sales. Consider aligning effective communication strategies with their job role. 

Example: Effective communication is critical for jobs that involve an employee or team safety. Listening takes an active (even life or death) role for an employee who is a system operator for a utility company. System operators may complete training on how to apply human performance listening tools like ” three-way-communication.” Incorporating effective communication techniques like speaking clearly and active listening gives the employee tools to be a better communicator in their role. 


Training is often “one and done.” Most learners leave their training at the door when they leave the session. Training does not end when the learner leaves class. Training should extend beyond the classroom. Employees need to be able to successfully perform a task and managers should be able to measure their employees’ performance. Managers should receive training on how to observe and measure and provide feedback regarding their employees’ performance. Learners also need to have a safe environment to practice, make mistakes, and improve their newly learned skills. 

Example: Listening and clear communication mitigates mistakes when safety operators perform the “three-way-communication” task. Learners need to have an environment where they can safely practice and perfect the skill and newly learned communication approaches while managers observe while providing respectful and clear feedback. 


Demonstrating how training is relevant and easy to apply to their job will help to motivate employees to learn and use the skill in their work roles. Effective communication is relevant and highly motivating to a system operator as, without it, the consequences are grave. 

Example: A system operator’s motivation is to not be physically harmed or harm someone else while performing their job.

Consider incorporating effective communication techniques into your next employee training. Show your team how communication is relevant to their role, give them space to practice, and help motivate them to succeed. 

66% of organizations experience a gap of skills in areas of basic communication and interpersonal skills.* Schedule a consultation with me today to develop a plan to improve your team’s communication skills.

Published:, 10/25/2020

*, 2019 State of the Industry

Hi, I’m Kellie. I Love Learning and Bulldogs

This is me, and my other “ride or die, ” in Japan in 2015

Well, here we are. Here I am. Welcome.

It’s an interesting place to be when you are starting a new business. One puts their knowledge, skills, and abilities on display, leaving you a bit vulnerable. Vulnerability is something I am not a fan of. I hope those of you reading will become loyal followers of my journey into the world of Learning and Development consulting. At least, I hope you tune in for pictures of my dog, Momo.

I specialize in learning and development… and bulldogs. For those of you that don’t know me, my “ride or die” is an 8-year-old English Bulldog named Momo. She smells, loves the dirt, is stubborn, and is tons of fun. I encourage you to go and find one right away.

I love traveling. I say I will make my way back to Japan someday. I found a love for the country in 2015 when my other “ride or die” (aka the husband) made our first visit. There is an odd calmness to the culture, even in a big city like Tokyo that I miss. That, and a vending machine on every street corner. My dream is to one day expand the work that I do to Japan. I also love food and hot yoga, not particularly in that order. I like to call myself and “equal opportunity eater” as I will give most foods the “old college try.”

“To make a measurable difference in the way small businesses learn, lead others, and positively contribute to the people they serve.

I have a lot of passion for what I do and I work hard to do what is best for my clients. I strive to make a measurable difference for those I work with. I also want hope to learn from those that I have the pleasure of working with. I am a big believer in the concept that it takes a team to inspire change in an organization. I hope that I can help your team and together we can inspire change for your team or organization.

As you join me on this new journey, I look forward to hearing from you, sharing with you, and learning from you.

Please, love, bulldogs,

The office “help” hard at work