30 Day Brainstorm Challenge: Day 8 – Travel Day


It’s day 8 of our 30 Day Brainstorm Challenge – Travel Day

Today was travel day. A four hour flight from California back home to Illinois.

Whenever there is a travel day, there are a lot of moments that make me shake my head. Questions that fill my brain…


Why do people just stop in the middle of the concourse to check their phones or try to read signs?

Why do people act like it was only yesterday that TSA required people to take off their shoes?

Why do people mad rush the gate when the desk attendant has only announced pre-boarding?

Why do people lose all sense of graciousness when retrieving their luggage?

In other words..why do people stop acting like grown adults when they enter into an airport? Why do personalities seem to suddenly change? Or are we seeing the real person?

These questions made me think of how people behave around learning technologies, or sometimes just learning itself. I know you have experienced this…normally smart people suddenly lose their brain cells when up against an elearning course. In some way I don’t think they do – I think WE think they do. We create blindingly obvious directions, and then force people to read them. Then we act shocked and amazed when our end-users depend on us to spoon feed information. This is the only way they have experienced learning…so why is now any different? So it’s not that they aren’t adults with functioning brains, it’s that we’ve never treated them like one.

Airport Craziness = Learning Craziness?


This may be an important lesson. I don’t know why people act crazy in airports. I may never know the answer to that life mystery – but I can take a stab at why people act the way they do when they interact with a piece of training. They act like they act, because we have set the expectation. If we spoon feed information, that will be the expectation. If we create boring and dull courses, people will expect to be bored. When we don’t give people a chance to ask questions, they will stop asking entirely. We have drawn the line in the sand, and people have learned not to cross it. People know that no one, in general, will call them out for bringing a bag big enough to smuggle a small child – so why not? This is their true personality coming out. Are you gracious and kind at the airport or are you stubborn, selfish and rude.

Will the “real you” please stand up?


It is my belief that a person’s true personality comes out when asked to participate in a training session. Seriously. There are some people who enjoy the act of learning new things and will try to find something positive at every turn. There are people who see the negative in every training course – slapping on that negative filter before they have even read the agenda. This is a person’s real personality coming out. Viewing life through a positive or negative filter. The same holds true for us, “The Trainers”.

Are we modelling the behaviors we want to see in others? Our participants know pre-work isn’t a real requirement and don’t complete it – because we don’t incorporate the work into the course. If we don’t hold up to our end of the bargain, why should they? If we aren’t vocal about how we, as learning professionals, are embracing learning curiosity – why should they? If we host a train the trainer that is all talk and no action, why should we expect those in the session to act differently after leaving? If we don’t experiment with technology why should we be shocked when those around us don’t want to either? If we aren’t supporting learning as an endless journey, neither will the people around us. So what is your true learning personality? Is it giving, seeking, curious? Or is it, “don’t have time”, silo, old and dusty? The learning culture of your business will be a reflection of the mirror you are holding up.

So maybe I did answer my own airport question. Maybe people are texting and walking because there was no elearning class on airport etiquette required before purchasing a ticket.

Someone get on that.



NO! It’s not too late to join! See the original 30 Day Brainstorm Challenge post here

See Day 7: Recharge the Battery 

Check out the variety of participants and their challenge entries on the Learning Rebels Facebook page here

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Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

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