Linking In with Matt

Matthew Richter posts daily comments in LinkedIn—well almost daily. You can follow him and join the conversation by going to For the benefit of our readers, we decide to compile and reprint some of his provocative pieces from the past. Let us know what you think.

Performance Tests

A good training always has a good performance test. A performance test is a demonstration of the skill applied in some contextual form. There are two ways that test can be delivered. Participants can create a product or produce an output. For example, in an accounting class, a performance test might be the creation of a P&L. Otherwise, the test is some kind of interaction-- a demonstration of the performance with other people. For example, a roleplay, a simulation, an actual interaction on the job. The key to both types of tests is they ensure that the participants do, apply, demonstrate the new skills within a real or simulated on-the-job situation.

Agendas are illusions

They are just like any forecast. They aren't real, but can act like a comfy blanket on a cold night. The benefit of the agenda is to provide you, the trainer, with structure or a plan of attack. The benefit to your participants is it tells them what they might expect. The problem comes when we expect to keep to the schedule. Too often we get behind, or sometimes we get ahead. When this happens, the priority shifts from meeting your desired outcomes to getting back on schedule. Stop doing this. The agenda is a guide. But, it can be and should be malleable. Let the participants guide you, as long as you meet the ultimate objectives.