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The 8 Skills For The Future L&D Pro (And How To Build Them)

What does tomorrow’s learning professional need?

It ain’t more e-learning, I can tell you that. We need to be builders and strategic operators.

Below is data based on what I see as a practitioner in the flow of work.

Connected with developments in our modern world and the variety of conversations I have with fellow L&D Pros.

Focus your skill-building on these 8 areas ⬇️

Learning design 

This is your bread and butter. Without this, it’s hard to do anything.

Good learning design is not restricted to the physical world.

Every article, how to and step-by-step guide is a learning experience. Pay just as much attention to these journeys.

Become Tech Savvy

Digital technology powers many areas of our lives.

It makes sense to learn more, right? Hopefully, you agree.

Invest in understanding the basic principles of how different tech works together. This will improve your learning tech conversations and your day-to-day awareness.

Helpful resources:

👉 How to optimise your technology to improve learning and performance.

Build awareness

Understanding how to market your work and products is powerful for any career.

You don’t need to be a marketer but thinking like one won’t hurt you.

Helpful resources: 

👉 How to build awareness of your L&D products.

👉 How to use content marketing to supercharge your L&D brand.

Get comfortable with data

If you don’t know what works you can’t know what to work on.

Data is cool. But, what’s even better is knowing how to use this. Look beyond the vanity metrics.

Find people in and outside of your company to help you identify the metrics that matter.

Helpful resources: 

👉 I don’t do TNA (training needs analysis) here’s why.

👉 How to measure L&D success: Don’t do that, do this.

Learn how to use artificial intelligence tools

They’re not going to replace you but they can certainly help you. The current wave of AI tools is like a “pick your poison” choice.

There are thousands available to save you time.

My favourites include:

Helpful resources: 

✍️ The 3 Best AI Tools You Need To Know

🤖 The Ultimate ChatGPT Prompt Writing Guide

Focus on building a consultative approach

Consulting makes you hard to replace, facilitation makes you easy to replace.

Adopting a consultative approach gives you a sense of credibility as a trusted expert. You become the architect, not just the engineer (no idea where all these analogies are coming from today!).

Helpful resources:

👉 The 8 Best Performance Consulting Questions

👉 For L&D Pros How To Move From Learning To Performance

Learn how to write for the attention economy

The digital world has changed the way we consume writing.

You need to learn the game for today’s world.

Becoming a better writer has been instrumental in my own growth. We all write every day. This is one that’ll always be on the list.

Helpful resources:

📘 The Art And Business of Online Writing | Nicolas Cole

📘 Everybody Writes | Ann Handley

📽️ The Fundamentals Of Digital Writing

Double down on your human skills

Get comfortable sharing feedback, navigating difficult conversations, storytelling and emotional intelligence.

These will be core activities you do for a lifetime.

Helpful resources:

👉 10 Tips For Sharing Feedback That Will Improve Your Life And Career

👉  4 Lessons That Will Transform Your Storytelling Skills

👉  Emotional Intelligence Crash Course

You might think this is a lot, but it’s not really.

These are the future skills for the high-performing learning professional.

You’ll need to niche-down skills for different categories of L&D roles.

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

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