Training & development interests, skills & opportunities a la Scott Belsky

“The greatest achievements happen in the overlap of three things: Your genuine interests, skills, and opportunities. To find success, work within your overlap,” says Scott Belsky in a Fast Company article Work Smart: how to find your sweet spot (check him out in the video below).

I’m often asked for advice on how to get into the training & development field.  Adapting Scott Belsky’s words, here’s the magic formula.  As we’ve just touched down on a new year, how can you adapt the formula for yourself?

Genuine interests:

I’m amazed at how many people are lukewarm about training & development & yet still want to enter the field.  If you aren’t lit up by the idea of creating content & teaching in engaging, creative, sticky ways, find another field.

If you do light up at the thought of training & development, narrow your focus.  What subject matter expertise can you continue to develop?  What can you learn about how people learn?  About how groups operate?  About how to teach?  About how the brain works?  About how to be inclusive in your teaching?  About how to make your content accessible?


Getting up in front of a group of people is hard enough, getting up & teaching them something is even harder.  Hone your skills in how to nab people’s attention.  In how to develop content that will stick.  In how to develop creative workshops.  In how to start & end a workshop.  In how to speak publicly to a variety of audiences (how to adapt how you speak).


Nab every opportunity you can possibly find to get up in front of people & teach.  There’s nothing like being in front of a difficult group to teach you how to deal with challenging participants.  There’s nothing like having the client not provide your handouts to teach you how to improvise on the spot.  There’s nothing like showing up to do a workshop in the dead of winter to a room where the heating is broken (true story) to teach you the power of humour.

In the Fast Company article Scott goes on to say “Imagine a Venn diagram of three overlapping circles, one for your genuine interests, one for your skills, and one for the stream of opportunities available to you. Just two overlaps won’t do it–a love for basketball and a connection to an NBA scout isn’t enough–you’ve got to find your trifecta. In this episode, I explain how to identify all three overlaps, and how to find your sweet spot.”

On the edge of a new year I wish you an interesting & intriguing journey finding your training & development sweet spot.  The world needs your passion, your delight & your offerings.


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