10L: Sukh Pabial

10L: A few simple questions about how leading professionals see their work.

About Sukh:

A business psychologist by training, Sukh is an experienced senior learning strategist, and well-respected member of the L&D community.

So, what do you do dear?  Describe your work to an elderly relative.

Don’t worry about it, Dad. It’s good work and I enjoy doing it.

What was your favourite learning experience (Could be work, personal, school…anything is valid)?  What were you trying to do? Why did it work so well for you?

I think it was when I did my Myers Briggs Type Indicator training. It was a 3 day programme, and delivered incredibly well. This was before the days of digital content, so we had manuals and worksheets and booklets and all sorts of training collateral. Even though I’m an advocate for minimising training materials in today’s world of design, back then it really made a difference to the learning experience. The facilitator worked really well with the group, had great subject knowledge and I felt very able at the end of the training. Back in work and my whole team were MBTI trained, so there was ample opportunity to use the product and really have fun with it.

Enough already…What one thing do you wish people in your industry or profession would stop doing? (What gets your goat?)

Acting like they can deliver content on every subject under the sun. Like, how did L&D become wellbeing experts in a matter of months when researchers and psychologists spend years studying the area?

Same again please…What has changed for the better in your professional world as a result of COVID working practices? Should it be retained for the future (whenever that might be and whatever it might look like)? 

I’m unsure. This isn’t a normal world, and we’ve had to adapt to being at home in a crisis and continue working. None of that is a choice. I don’t think I can point to anything and say I prefer it that way, because we’re making do. None of this was designed to work this way.

From the good old days…What do you miss most about working life from the pre-COVID world? Do you think it will return? 

I miss the random conversations. The informality of a joke, hearing other people laugh, over-hearing calls, all of the normal office noise. I hope it will all return, but how it all looks and feels is so unknown.

Theft is the sincerest form of flattery…Which part of which other industry or profession do you think we should learn from and adopt (or just steal)?

I don’t think L&D values strategic thinking enough. We can learn a lot from our Organisational Development friends. Programmes and technologies are great, but how do they fit into the system? What do leaders need to understand? How will the Technology team feel about the new technology and the support they’ll need to provide? What will people need to do differently and how will they learn? L&D is part of the system, so the more we take a systemic approach the better our solutions will be accepted.

You know who would be great for this…Which famous person (live or historical) do you want to join your team and why?

Brene Brown, please. She is an incredible researcher and really understands her data and the insights it helped her to develop. I learn from her every time I watch her TED talks or podcasts or Netflix special. I am forced to stop and think. That can only be a good thing for us all to do.

If only I had…What did you learn from your most recent mistake?

My most recent mistake was a case of misunderstanding. I had an idea in my head and couldn’t let go enough to hear feedback I needed to hear and I stuck my heels in. It took me a couple of weeks to work it out. I had to spend time correcting for a relationship that was hurt because of the misunderstanding.

There can be only one…Which one tool or piece of kit would you keep if you could only use one from now on?

Has to be my smartphone. It’s crazy how powerful and adaptive these devices are. There is nothing I can’t do from it, and I will default to using it for the majority of my day to day stuff.

The picture of success…Which image or picture is a good representation of how you would like to develop your practice over the next five years?

Where can we find you?

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