Originally published in Forbes.
As organizations continue to focus on innovative ways to implement and enhance digital learning, especially now in the wake of COVID-19, it’s fair to wonder if instructor-led training (ILT) will come back any time soon. For years, learning experts predicted that live learning would eventually disappear, but the reality is, it is still alive and well. In fact, according to ATD 2018’s State of the Industry report, more than half (54%) of all learning is still delivered face to face. Even among our clients, we found that while they are currently focusing on and investing in more technology-based learning, they still view ILT as critical to the development of certain skills. And when I review the inquiries we have received and the training we have delivered in the past couple of years, the majority revolve around what is commonly called “soft skills,” which most view is best delivered live.
Soft skills are skills that revolve around dealing with and working well with people in a variety of social and professional interactions. Such skills include our most requested programs, like leadership development, creative or innovative thinking, emotional intelligence, empathy, communication and coaching. Add in additional training topics on service, sales, conflict management, team-building, change leadership and anything associated with diversity, and you have a pretty good list of skills covered under this category. I, along with other experts in the learning and development space, agree that these skills are just harder to adopt and certify online.
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