The training, teaching, and performance development field has its fads and slang — like any other. Ages ago, training was often described as an “intervention,” prompting an image of someone running into a classroom and yelling, “Stop! Stop!” These days it’s common to see we pros described as “learning” professionals.  Now, most of us are into learning on a lifetime basis, that’s certainly true. However, calling us “learning” professionals is so, so wrong.

The current habit of calling students “learners” goes right along with “learning professional.” Now, according to the dictionary, a “learner” is a person who is learning. Hm. So…if the students are learning and the person leading the effort is a “learning professional,” does that mean that person is helping by being a super-great-fantastic learner? The idea is that the whole group muddles through the best they can, and as long as one of them is a professional student — er, sorry — a learning professional, it will be okay?

Good luck with that approach.

The primary definition of “learn” is this: To acquire knowledge or skill.  Here is the primary definition of “teach”: To impart knowledge or skill. What’s more, both “learn” and “teach” are verbs. Wow. It’s almost as if the two were meant to go together; as if one helps generate the other.

That’s why I’m not a “learning” professional. What say you?