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Teach What You Know

A Practical Leader's Guide to Knowledge Transfer Using Peer Mentoring

Steve Trautman


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"Do you find yourself reading books that just 'make sense, ' so you end up reading the entire book but not doing any of it? Don't let that happen with this book. The 'tools' Steve presents in this book work great. We've been using them for over a year at EA Canada with dramatic improvements in onboarding time and knowledge transfer. Here's the key: when you find a tool in the book that sounds perfect for your situation, stop reading and actually use the tool at least once before you resume reading." --Jerry Bowerman, vice president, chief operating officer, Electronic Arts Canada FROM BLAH, BLAH TO AHA Breakthrough Knowledge Transfer Techniques for Every Professional No matter where you work there are people with experience teaching people who need to learn. Everyone is part of this exchange yet few people know how to do it well. Now, there's a comprehensive how-to manual for effective knowledge transfer: Teach What You Know. Steve Trautman introduces simple, practical mentoring techniques he created for engineers at Microsoft, and has proven in many diverse organizations ranging from Nike to Boeing. This is real-world, get-it done advice, organized into a framework you can use no matter what you need to teach. Trautman provides common-sense tools to successfully pass along years or even decades of experiences: easy-to- use checklists, sample training plans, lists of questions, step-by-step procedures, and a start-to finish case study. Teach What You Know will help you orient new employees, support transitions to new assignments and promotions, prepare for employee retirements, build teams, roll out new technologies, and even move forward after reorganizations and mergers. You'll learn how to
  • Create a plan for the entire knowledge transfer process
  • Clarify roles for each type of peer mentor in your organization
  • Set expectations for communication so you can mentor and still get your other work done
  • Organize what must be learned into manageable chunks
  • Develop a measurable training plan in less than an hour
  • Uncover the list of information and support that your apprentices can't live (or at least learn) without
  • Explain the mysterious "big picture" to your apprentices
  • Create one-hour "lesson plans" in five minutes
  • Give a demonstration that is guaranteed to sink in
  • Help your apprentices take responsibility for their own learning
  • Make sure your apprentices have mastered what you've taught
  • Provide feedback that your peers will appreciate hearing

Pearson, 9780137143689, 294pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2008

About the Author

Steve Trautman created Peer Mentoring to help developers and testers at Microsoft deliver on-the-job training to their peers. He has since customized the program for a wide range of organizations, including Nike, Nordstrom, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Electronic Arts, Boeing, Standard Insurance, Phelps Dodge, Southern Company, the U.S. Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Army Corps of Engineers. A former program and group manager at Microsoft and general manager at, Trautman is author of the Practical Leader Series: programs that have helped thousands of leaders, managers, and employees improve communication, performance, and quality.