The standards you develop will be a driving force in creating consistency in the workplace and your life.

For our purpose, we are going to define standards as the established rule of measure by which things are judged.

In baseball, home plate is 17 inches wide. Whether that is in little league, college, the pros. It was 17 inches wide when Babe Ruth played 100 years ago. This standard makes players get better. If a pitcher can’t throw the ball over the plate, the plate is not widened. Through practice and repetition the player gets to the standard of being able to throw over the plate or he looks for new work. I got this example from an amazing blog post about a former college baseball coach. I encourage you to read it, it will change you for the better.

Establishing your standards

In establishing your standards, there will need to be some thought and discussion about what is important, what is not, what requirements are needed, what is trying to be achieved, what has worked previously and what has not worked. Take a look at some of our blogs posts on critical thinking to help in this area.

Holding to the standards you set

After deciding what standards are going to be upheld, draw a line in the proverbial sand. Holding oneself to the standards set can be difficult, but it does get easier the more you do so. I have set some personal standards to make sure I am a good person. One of these, is always returning the grocery cart to the designated cart return. When I made the decision years ago, I distinctly remember having to consciously remind myself to do so. Now it is just muscle memory. Whether its sunny, rainy, snowy, night or day, I have drawn the line at I always return the grocery cart.

Tools that help

All of the software tools we provide help you set and hold to standards for your training programs. For establishing standards for the application of instructional design practices and the building of consistent design outlines there’s Learning Design Tool.

For establishing a consistent document structure and look & feel for icon-driven facilitator guides there’s LeaderGuide Pro. This standard in structure provides the basis for building consistent training materials. Here is an example of the LeaderGuide Pro content blocks. They provide a standard visual cue for the facilitator to understand what is going to happen.

The facilitator gets the visual cue from the icon, a headline of what to do and then the material to convey. This is just one example of how our software helps with creating and maintaining your standards.

For establishing standards about how you add notes to PowerPoint there’s Scripter and for establishing a professional standard for the handouts you create from PowerPoint there’s george!

Guard the line

Over the next few days take some time looking at the standards that are in your personal and work life. Consider how you can better employ them and, more importantly, guard the line. Your work and personal life will be better for it.

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