Want To Train Your Managers For The Real World? Try Using Customized Simulations


Hi there. I'm Russell Stratton, President and Leadership Champion with Bluegem Learning. I work with organizations just like yours to help leaders and managers become even more effective and help them improve individual and team performance.

One of the things I wanted to talk to you about today was how do we go about developing leaders? You've no doubt attended courses in the past where you've had some great information. You've had a really engaging trainer who's kept your attention through the course of the day. You've maybe done a little bit of practice session, and then you go away at the end of the day with a nice binder full of materials, ready to put things into practice back at the workplace.

One of the challenges that you can find as a manager in that position is, of course, when you get back to the workplace, you've got all the stuff that's sitting there on your desk and on your computer that you hadn't had a chance to deal with while you were away on the training. What tends to happen is that wonderful binder with all that information gets put on your shelf next to your desk, and it sits there and gathers dust and probably only gets moved again when you happen to be moving offices for your next job.

So one of the things that I like to focus on in the training that I do with managers is not just give people great information. I'm not trying just to give them a chance to practice some of the skills that they're going to need, but to actually create simulations in real-time for people in the classroom so they can actually put into practice what they're learning on the day that they're in training.

What does this mean? This means that they get a chance in real time to have a situation as close to reality as possible without having the actual people in the room with them that they'll be dealing with so that they can immerse themselves in the experience and also get in to feel and understand how to put it into practice. As you may know, the brain can't distinguish between simulation and real life, so by creating a simulation that mirrors real life, we're allowed to really get into that deep level of training and understanding for people so it goes into their muscle memory, not just into their short-term memory.

What this means, of course, is that when people come out of the training and go back to work, they're actually ready to be able to put this into practice right the next day. They haven't got to reach for that binder and start flicking through and trying to find out what was the process that we have to follow, because they've actually done it in a learning environment, and they're good to go.

Now, I've been working with this approach for the last 25 years, and a lot of this came from my background of working with emergency services, law enforcement, and former members of the military where simulations are a large part of their training. What surprised me is that we didn't do enough of this in our corporate training here in the business world, so that's what I've brought to the table here for my clients.

So, if this sounds interesting to you and you'd like to find out a little bit more about how we can use simulations in management training, then make sure that you get in touch. In the meantime, I hope you found that interesting, it sparked your interest, and be sure to check us out for next week when I'm going to be talking about how we can make our staff appraisals even more beneficial. In the meantime, you have a great day.

If you enjoyed that video, make sure you subscribe to my channel so you can see other great training that I cover. If you think this training will be useful for your organization, make sure you reach out to me at bluegemlearning.com, and we can talk.

#management #learningdevelopment #trainingcourses

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"Bluegem Learning & Development and Corporate Culture Shift have presented two very effective and interactive workshops with our organization. Their comedic and engaging presentation style in the ‘Managing the Unmanageable’ workshop has left a lasting impression on our staff. I highly recommend this workshop if you are looking for a valuable, cost effective customer service training option."

- Jeff Gerestein, City of Brooks

"Russell produced a highly engaging HR programme that reflected our organisational issues. He is without doubt an outstanding training deliverer, challenging managers to address what can be difficult HR issues. I highly recommend Russell, and would always seek to engage Russell on future learning development opportunities."

- Sharon Gartland, DSG Consultancy Services

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Russell Stratton

Leadership Champion

RUSSELL STRATTON is an international Leadership Expert, Professionally Certified Trainer and Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. He is co-author of the book 'I Need to F@#king Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'.


He is a Master Facilitator for Bluegem Learning's ground breaking "Leadership Success" workshop series - providing a practical toolkit for building engagement and improving individual and team performance. Using live actors in a stop/start forum theatre approach and a combination of dynamic experiential learning techniques, participants come away with a greater ability to actually perform better as employees and leaders in your organization.


He is an accomplished management education, learning & development professional with a proven track record of working with clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors to achieve lasting, measurable step changes in business performance.


Russell works internationally with a wide range of organizational cultures and with all levels from front line customer facing staff to executive management boards. Having worked as both a Personnel Manager and Operational Manager he works at both strategic and tactical levels.

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