Adult Learners Aren’t Blank Slates

In this video, produced by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s VP, reminds us to acknowledge our learners’ past experiences.

Greg here with Turpin Communication. I think that one of the most important concepts that we need to understand for those of us in talent development is that adult learners are not blank slates. They have a lot of experience under their belt, a lot of successes, maybe a few failures. And they may be working with incomplete or inaccurate information. So, for us, it’s important to acknowledge this upfront. Doing so gives your learners peace of mind, and it lets them know that you really appreciate their skill level. So whenever you work with adult learners, make sure that you acknowledge their skill level, their experience, upfront and that you’re not going to start from scratch, which they could perceive as a waste of their time.

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About the Author: Greg Owen-Boger

Greg Owen-Boger has been with Turpin Communication since 1995, first as a cameraman, then instructor, account manager, and now vice president. Schooled in management and the performing arts, Greg brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to the organization. Greg is one of Turpin’s facilitators and coaches and holds a Bates ExPI™ (Executive Presence Index) coaching certification. When he’s not with clients, he manages the day-to-day operations of the company. Greg is an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and was the 2015 President of ATD, Chicagoland Chapter. He is a popular speaker, frequent blogger, and the co-author of “The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined,” “The Virtual Orderly Conversation,” and Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide to Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning,” all written with Turpin’s founder, Dale Ludwig.

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