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We have hundreds of articles to help you become more successful in your workplace. Below are the most popular topics. For even more go to the articles main page

Training and Development Library - Bacal's Reflections After 35 Years in Education and Training

Check out the book on the British Amazon site Check out amazon for complete information on the print edition In Canada? You can get this from within the country via The Kindle version can save you tons of money, and you can read it on almost any device with the free reader software Buy the PDF from us and save BIG. And, yes you can print it out or view it on a screen.

Training & Development/Learning

After being a professional educator and trainer (and organizational development consultant) for about 35 years now, I've developed some interesting and unique takes on how we educate and train people, and in particular, how the training and consulting industry works (and often doesn't work). You'll find some opinion pieces here in addition to help, hints and tips for training consumers, and, of course, help for trainers and instructional designers.

  • Why Do You Believe In Things That Aren't True: Employee Engagement, MBTI, Learning Styles
    These three things have many things in common that convince people to believe even if there is actually little evidence to support their usefulness.
  • Trainers are From Mars, or Is That Pluto, or, Maybe Just Goofy From the "I really don't remember where this comes from and vaguely remember writing it" section, or "Truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to some people in the training profession. Really!
  • Elearning, Distance Education, Not Equivalent to Full Time Study Despite the common sense notion that HOW you learn something affects WHAT you learn and how you can apply it, distance education and elearning advocates push the idea that people should REPLACE traditional  learning experiences (i.e. in class, full time study) with part time, distance or elearning programs. It's NOT the same, but the sad part is that people without the full time experience will never know what they missed.
  • Comparing Various Instructional Methods - Matching Training Methods With Training Purposes For instructional designers and trainers, a must have chart that compares various training and instructional methods.
  • Why I Cannot Abide Social Learning “Experts” And Why You Should Beware When "professionals" lose the distinction between ADVOCACY and unbiased analysis of available data, there's a risk of millions of dollars going to waste. Does this apply to elearning and social learning? Bet on it.
  • Going To Training? Some Hints Attending a training session shouldn't be a day off. Attendees have responsibilities if the investment of time and money is to pay off for both employee and sponsor. Here's some hints to help anyone planning on attending training.
  • Personal Styles -- Time-Waster or Useful - Should You Join The MBTI Shuffle? Personal (or personality styles) have become the astrology signs of the 90's and 2000's, it seems as they've become more popular and...well, less understood. Instruments like the MBTI and the DISC have serious limitations that anyone using them should be aware of, including a danger of stereotyping and worsening organizational harmony.
  • The Educated Training Consumer - Why Is Training Undervalued We believe the better educated the seminar buyer, the better it is for everyone. Here are some reasons why training tends to be undervalued, focusing on those IN the industry.
  • The Value of Value Clarification - Or - Cut Out The Navel-Gazing Clarifying values is often used as a process to improve organizational functioning in organizational development interventions. Intuitively it makes sense, but is it a good path to go? Does it pay off, or could it engender more cynicism in the organization?
  • Strategic Learning Contracts - Maximizing Training Results If a company is spending money on training staff and helping staff develop skills that benefit them, the company should be protecting its  investment by making clear to the employee its expectations about his or her responsibility. Here's a simple approach to use for that purpose -- the strategic learning contract.
  • What Faciliators Really Do It's kind of a mystery. Facilitators are NOT trainers or teachers per se. They play a particular role in organizational development and learning efforts, and you SHOULD know the difference between facilitation and training since they work differently and suit different purposes and goals.
  • Getting Value From Training - How To Improve Return On Investment If you are a manager or HR professional involved in training staff, this is for you, since it provides some straight-forward ideas on how to get value from training.
  • Danger! Corporate Training Ahead Sometimes training, mismanaged and badly arranged and communicated, is a BAD idea. Here's an example, along with a stern warning.
  • Ugh! Training, What's It Good For? It's been fairly typical for managers, executives and even human resources professionals to believe that "training" is a solution to a broad range of problems. It isn't. Training has specific strengths and weaknesses and needs to be matched up with problems it CAN solve. Otherwise everyone ends up disappointed and decision-makers pull back on funding future training.

About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992. Since then Robert has trained thousands of employees to deal with angry, hostile, abusive and potentially violent customers. He has authored over 20 books on various subjects, many published by McGraw-Hill.


Robert Bacal

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We Believe

  • Training sessions should ALWAYS be customized to fit YOUR context.
  • Our role is to make you self-sufficient and self-sustaining.
  • Fees should be reasonable, fair, and flexible to fit different budgets.
  • The only way to further success is to challenge the existing "wisdom" through critical thinking and basing our services and books on a complex reality.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (613) 764-0241
  • Email:
  • Address:

  • Bacal & Associates
  • 722 St. Isidore Rd.
  • Casselman
  • Ontario
  • Canada, K0A 1M0