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New Technologies in Training, Essay Example

Pages: 15

Words: 4114


With technology growing at an exponential rate around us there are multiple ways to harness the technology to produce fully training members of the business team.  People learn in different ways so it is best to provide a multitude of training venues for the employees.  Training ranges from hands on “on-the-job” training where the trainee works with a mentor or teacher and executes the necessary work through a learning phase.  There are also areas that rely deeply on a technological base such as simulations, interactive videos and virtual training.  All of these support the end result of a fully trained employee while incorporating methods that increase the effectiveness of the training environment and increase the rate of transfer of training.

Transfer of training is the level at which a trainee is able to transfer the skills and knowledge provided in training to their job.  The transfer from training to the job site is a correlative function between the trainee’s motivation and ability with the trainings design and the trainee’s work environment.  All three areas influence and impact the learning retention.  Each area has specific elements that can inhibit or promote the ability of the trainee’s learning retention and job application.  With the use of technology to promote either simulated environments or enhance the ability for the training to mold and scope the media to review areas in which they have less understanding or press through the areas where they are already proficient the training adapts to each member.

Interactive Training

There are various types of technology used in training which have different impacts on the quality and transfer of skill (Bramley 1996).  Online training, simulations, intelligent systems coupled with mobile technology increase the opportunities and effectiveness for employees at the Apple stores.  Apple employees are deemed apple genius’s by title and their proclivity toward the knowledge they have obtained through use and admiration for the Apple products.  Eachmember has a different level of knowledge and insight but Apple wants to ensure two areas of knowledge (Apple  2011):

  1. Each employee has a base of knowledge going into the business environment
  2. Each employee stays up to date on emerging technologies within Apple and abroad

These are two areas that require slightly different methods of training.  The first in which there is a knowledge base set by the company could be administered by a CD-ROM type of training method with accountability held and documented through the administration of a test.  This would meet the requirements but would create a void on both ends of the spectrum.  The employee with the least amount of knowledge my feel over-whelmed with all of the details, acronyms, philosophies and skill actions while the proficient and knowledgeable employee may be stifled and bored reviewing what to him or her is common knowledge and a waste of resources in time and money as potential impact to employee morale.

Apple is able to mold and adapt their training with technological tools like the ipad and training stations on the Mac but first for a real training advancement is that of an intelligent training system.  These systems are built as a one stop shop or in other words a wing-to-wing platform that allows an integration of the student, trainer and environment to meet the training objectives with the needs and abilities of the trainee.  Full integration of the learning environment allows the focus to be placed on an individual by tracking performance on success factors, filling the needs of the trainee and molding course work to fit the environment the trainee is utilizing (in person, remote, part-time).  This type of all-inclusive environment also facilitates the ability to increase the transfer of work.  The employee’s work history and metrics are recorded as well as the amount, type and results of the training accomplished and trend analysis can be performed as well as data analysis on what training would be needed in the future and how it should be administered.

For Apple, an integrated technological training system works well with their employees since there is a data feedback system that allows the employee to know what areas they have trained in as well as what job functions they currently possess (Apple  2011).  The use of the mobile tools in Apples arsenal allow each employee to perform training on the job with 3-D rendered simulations to allow “as real as it gets” training.  This allows the employee to specifically call out the type of training in an ad-hoc method and train or review the task they need to address.  This also is in conjunction with new and emerging technologies and core concepts provided by the corporate Apple itself.  This training is tailored to each individual but the overall success is measured by job performance and its relation to the training provided and successfully completed by the employee.  The managers are responsible to provide the environment for the training but the employees bear the burden to perform and complete the training otherwise, just like any other policy violation, the employee could lose their job.  Training is a very important aspect of Apple’s business model due to the fact that the employees represent their product and their product is seen as bleeding edge, user friendly and reliable.  So Apple utilizes different methods for administration such as on the iPad, at a workstation in the Apple store, podcasts on the iPod, and text messages sent to their iPhone just to name a few but how are these types of learning different?  Some are in group settings while some are individual in nature.  Some are stationary and some or more of a distance learning environment.

Globally Disparate Employees and Training

Apple has Apple stores across the globe and they must provide the same consumer experience in all of their locations.  Distance learning still has its roots based in providing individuals or a small groups remotely disparate from their parent group training through a web based application or webcast where they do not have the benefit of full interaction but still technically received all of the basic information needed to at least state the trainees were “trained”.  The major downfall to this type of training is the engagement of trainees.  An example of the hindrance of the remote training would include the implementation of a new business methodology where processes, procedures, practices and implementation of firmly established business culture are embedded.  This would require the promotion and backing by leadership of the training and its benefits to provide a broad business culture impact.  There are ways to get over the issues of trainee engagement such as fully interactive work out sessions, employee input into the solution and defined results (DeSmet & Schwartz 2010).  Due to the geographical disbursement of Apple it was imperative that the company come up with a method to train their employees.  This was accomplished by utilizing the tools that they make such as the iPad and iPhone.


Apple has a great business model regarding training.  They have an overall training program that matches the needs of the employees to the types of training in which they receive the most benefit.  This is due to the ability to adapt the medium in which they receive their information.  Also their training metrics and results are linked to job function and performance.  The gap analysis is performed and each section needed attention can be addressed.  Linking the training areas to current and prospective job functions allows Apple to show how their employees are improving and potentially show a career progression based on interests and proficiency.  The focus on the transfer of training and fulfilling the training needs of their geographically separated operating units allows Apple to provide the same service and support in New York as is does anywhere else across the globe.  Apple has grasped the training technology bull by the horns and harness the potential to create fully trained and adept employees.


Apple (2011) Applecare Premium Services and Support Plan Terms and Conditions. Retrieved October 15, 2011 from:

Bramley, P. (1996). Evaluatingtrainingeffectiveness. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

DeSmet, A., McGurk, M., & Schwartz, E. (2010). Getting more from your training programs. McKinsey Quarterly, (4), 101-107. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Palmer, S., (2010). Making the business case for learning and development: 5 steps for success. UNC Executive Development, (1), 1-14. Retrived from

Wolff, S.B., Pescosolido, A.T., & Druskat, V.U. (2002). Emotional intelligence as the basis of leadership emergence inself-managing teams. The Leadership Quarterly, 13, 505-522.

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Experiential approaches to family therapy have their roots in the existential/ humanistic orientation of individual psychology and philosophy. Many of the techniques come from the arts and humanities.

Peak of popularity in the 1960s.

Encounter groups, sensitivity training, and an emphasis on the achievement of human potential.

Positive model of humanity, the humanistic perspective reflects the desire of family therapists to promote both individual, family growth and development.

  1. The focus was here-and-now experiencing.
  2. Goals:

(1). To get in touch with one’s feelings and to be able to express one’s emotions.

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(2). The primary goal of family therapy is growth, especially in the areas of sensitivity and the sharing of feelings.

Hallmarks of experiential family therapy: Individuality, personal freedom, and self-fulfillment.

Heath involves the facilitation of normal change processes with an emphasis on spontaneity and creativity.

Dysfunction is the result of denying impulses and suppressing feelings.

The techniques of experiential family therapy are drawn from the arts:

Strategies as psychodrama, sculpting, and role playing.

Almost any behavior comfortable for the therapist is considered acceptable.

The emphasis is on the experience in the context of therapy.

Homework assignments are the exception rather than the rule.

Like both structural and strategic approaches, it emphasizes the present rather than the past. Like the psychodynamic approach, experiential family therapy focuses on individual members. Individual members are encouraged to share personal experiences with each other.

Although the experiential approach focuses on the individual, the therapy is still considered a systems therapy.

The systems orientation is derived more from the Gestalt psychology of Fritz


  1. Rather than the general systems theory of Bertalanffy.
  2. The practice of experiential family therapy is led by Carl Whitaker and Virginia Satir, among others.
  3. Emphasis on personal growth rather than on altering dysfunctional interactions

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or removing symptom.

Growth may include autonomy and freedom of choice.

(1). Growth occurs when each member of the family is able to experience

the present moment.

(2). Share that moment with other members.

(3). The therapist uses himself or herself to help family members express

things as openly and honestly as possible.

(4). Family members are encouraged to share their problems rather than

focusing on one person as she problem or symptom.

Experiential family therapy does not rely primarily on theory.

Carl Whitaker suggested that therapists are more effective when they are being themselves.

Whereas theory may be necessary for the beginner, the creative therapist is open and spontaneous.

Satir suggests that much of the therapist’s language is sterile, technical, and often keeps distance between the therapist and client.

Experiential family Therapists focus on being fully with the family to help them handle problems.

With theory de-emphasized, the conceptual focus is on individuality, freedom of choice, and personal growth.

Concerned with the perceptions, meanings, and values of individual family members.

Experiential therapists emphasize subjective experience rather than observable behavior; thus, they focus more on the deterministic forces encountered in

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behavioralism and psychoanalysis.

An emphasis on individuality is in part derived from the existential writings of Martin

Heidegger (1963), Jean-Paul Sartre (1964), Paul Tillich (1952), and Martin Buber (1958).

Heidegger notes that one becomes aware of one’s existence by recognizing that we could not exist.

Sartre notes that one’s individuality is discovered only through personal meaning.

Tillich observes that when one does not find personal meaning, one’s individuality is threatened and one experiences a fear nothingness or nonbeing.

Buber emphasized individuality in focusing on personal relationships. Buber argued for the “I-Thou” relationship, in which both patties can be together yet maintain their individuality.

There is an existential need to feel both separate and together with members of one’s family.

The existential philosophers emphasized freedom of choice as well. Experiential family therapists consider we live in an absurd world where our choice must be significant and give us meaning.

Existential anxiety occurs when our choices lack meaning to ourselves and to other family members.

The family gives meaning to its individual members by supporting the choices they make.

In healthy families, individual members are more or less encouraged to express themselves freely.

  1. Family members tend to listen to one another and accept one another’s feelings.
  2. Family members may develop appropriate ways for expressing their emotions. C.

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Satir suggests that when family members are able to express themselves, they feel valued and loved. Moreover, such freedom of expression allows family members the important opportunity to nurture each other.

Experiential family therapy assists family members in finding roles that are fulfilling, promote personal growth, and individuality.

  1. focus on personal growth rather than the removal of symptomatic behaviors
  2. In functional families, open communication allows growth.
  3. Family members are allowed to move in and out the family system as they mature.

According to Satir, in open systems, the individual can say what he feels and negotiate for reality and personal growth without destroying either the self or others in the system.

Experiential family therapy encourages open self-expression and negotiation to develop personal grower and healthy family sanctioning.

To the experiential family therapist, growth is a continuous process. Change requires that family members continue to challenge their beliefs and open themselves to new experiences, even under stress.

In functional families, open communication allows growth. Overt rules are clearly understood and flexible, depending on what is needed in a given situation.

Dysfunctional families are characterized by interactional rigidity and emotional deadness.

These conditions often produce symptoms in one or more family members.

The specific symptom is often related to the pre-established roles and triangles of the family members.

Whitaker refers to some of these roles as:

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(1). The lonely father syndrome.

(2). The battle-fatigued mother syndrome.

(3). The parentified child syndrome.

  1. Each of these rigid roles (symptoms) serves to maintain file status quo.
  2. In dysfunctional families:
  3. Communication is often vague, and role expectations are unclear.
  4. Rules are rigid and are not a ltered to fit the demands of a given situation.
  5. When a problem arises, the family adheres to the same old rules and customs.
  6. Satir writes of the closed system:
  7. Closed systems are those in which every participatory member must be very cautious about what he or she says.

The principal rule seems to be that everyone is supposed to have the same feelings, opinions, and desires, whether or not this is true.

In families of this type, differences or conflict are often perceived as personal rejection.

Thus, to maintain “sameness,” members must adhere to complementary roles.

(1). If one member wishes to be “strict,” another member must remain “soft.”

(2). The way in which family members avoid conflict reinforces those roles and prevents the family from discussing alternative solutions when a problem arises.

Dysfunctional families who adhere to fixed roles often reach an impasse during a transition in the family’s life cycle.

When assessing family dysfunction, experiential therapy, like other approaches within the systemic perspective, examines the family of origin, the developmental stage of the family, and the emotional age of each child.

Experiential family therapists are noted for their focus on the experiential aspects of the interview itself.

  1. Therapist pays close attention to his or her own responses to the family.
  2. Like Whitaker, Satir also uses herself actively to assess family functioning.
  3. Both use metaphor, exaggeration, and fantasy to assess family communication.
  4. The goal of experiential family therapy is growth rather than reduction of symptoms.
  5. Individual growth will reduce the need for the symptom.
  6. Family members are encouraged to express their uniqueness and to make independent and creative choices.

Individual family members are encouraged to experience a deeper meaning when communicating with their family members.

Virginia Satir describes the goals of family therapy:

Each member of the family should be able to report congruently, completely, and obviously on what he sees and hears, feels and thinks about himself and others in the presence of others.

Each person should be addressed and related to in teams of their own uniqueness so that decisions are made in terms of exploration and negotiation rather than in terms of power.

  1. Differentness must be openly acknowledged and used for growth.
  2. Whitaker added creativity as a primary goal of therapy.
  3. When family members can be creative and playful, they will be more aware of their emotions and those areas that have been repressed.

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The freedom to be creative or “crazy” allows family members to be close and at the same time to be separate.

These conditions are considered necessary for proper family functioning and integration.

Satir uses a family sculpture to portray the way family members want things to be.

In experiential family therapy, goals are not as overt as in other forms of family therapy.

The experiential family therapists do not have a well-defined set of techniques.

Techniques that are an extension of their own personalities.

The personal encounter between she therapist and the family allows the therapist to become an important member of the family.

Experiential family therapists argue that technique evolves from relationship.

Like Whitaker, Satir states that she cannot teach specific techniques of family therapy.

Instead, she prefers to teach therapists to become aware of their own responses and to use them to produce change in the family.

Both Whitaker and Satir believe that the therapist is a teacher and a model of good communication to the family.

When the therapist is open and spontaneous, then family members will learn to behave in the same way.

Satir describes the therapist as a “resource person” and a “model of congruent communication.”

The therapist teaches family members how to observe discrepancies between the “intent” and the “impact” of their messages

The Therapists must be genuine, open, and trusting before they can expect family members to be the same with each other.

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The therapy of Virginia Satir requires a high degree of personal involvement by the therapist in order to create a supportive environment.

The empathic context constructed in therapy allows each member of the family the opportunity to develop to his or her fullest potential.

The therapist, as a model of personal growth, is a resource person for developing congruent communication in the family.

Satir will focus on various patterns of interaction in the family with the intent to improve communication.

She used techniques drawn from psychodrama (Moreno, 1952), Gestalt therapy (Perls, 1969), and her own creative genius to change she rules a nd context of family interaction.

Virginia Satir was ahead of her time in her concern with the emotional life of families and her legendary ability give people a sense that she genuinely about their problems and their lives. It’s probably no coincidence that she was the most humanistic, and the only woman, among the early pioneers.

As a member of the Mental Research Institute (MRI), Satir was exposed to the same functionalist and cybernetic influences that produced Watzlawick and Weakland and Haley’s version of strategic therapy.

From her ideas that children’s symptoms can serve the function of distracting an unhappy marriage she developed the theory that communion is a central key in family process.

Satir’s philosophy of therapy added Yin (feminine perspective) to what was becoming an overly Yang (masculine) field.

This occurred through her involvement with the human potential movement pioneered by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.

Satir saw people as longing for self-esteem, that is, to feel good about themselves, and to able to get close to others. “The critical factor in what happens both inside and between people is the picture of individual worth that each person carries around him.”

Her interest in communication wasn’t so much to break up dysfunctional interactions but to encourage family members to drp their protective masks and express their real feelings.

Satir believed that the connection between self-esteem and communication was central to a quality life.

Likewise, defensive communication, which elicits similarly defensive responses from others, reinforces low self-esteem.

The key to self-worth is straight-from-the-heart communication.

To achieve this, therapists must be able to create an atmosphere tha t allows family members to feel safe enough to risk openness.

Virginia Satir began working with families in 1951. Having found research a rather boring enterprise, entered the field family therapy via education and social work, where she had always made it a point to get to know the families of both her students and her clients.

In 1955 she was invited to teach family therapy to residents at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute (where one of students was Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy.)

In 1959, Don Jackson invited Satir to join him at MRI, where she became the first director of training of family therapy.

By that time she had been doing family therapy for several years, had taught family dynamics in Chicago, had visited Murray Bowen in Washington, DC, and had presented the results of her work to the Bateson group at the Veterans

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Administration Hospital in Polo Alto.

In 1964 Satir published Conjoint Family Therapy, one of the first major books in family therapy field. That same year she also became acquainted with the Esalen growth center

(1). At Esalen, Satir was introduced to sensory awareness, massage, group encounter, Gestalt therapy, dance therapy, body therapy and other nontraditional therapies.

(2). She began moving toward a holistic approach to therapy. Her model, although based in communication, is also very experiential in nature and incorporates elements drawn from many of the nontraditional therapies to which she was introduced at Esalen.

She remained at MRI until she left in 1966 to become the director of the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

Satir was the prototypical nurturing therapist in a field enamored with therapeutic distance and strategic maneuvers. Her warmth and genuineness gave her a tremendous appeal. and impact

In Venezuela, in 1974, at a Family Process Conference she was involved in a debate Salvador Minuchin about the nature of family therapy.

Minuchin argued that it was a science that required skills rather than just warmth and faith, and that the main job was to fix broken families.

Satir stuck to her belief in the healing power of love, and spoke out for the salvation of humankind through family therapy.

  1. It turned out that Minuchin was speaking for the field.
  2. Satir felt out of step and drifted away from family therapy to become a world traveler and spokesperson for her approach. (Reference the video we watched in class entitled:

“Virginia Satir: Becoming More Fully Human” from the “Thinking Allowed” by Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, 1988, a National Public Television Series).

She was no longer directly involved in mainstream family therapy, having withdrawn when her vision for the field and that of other influential leaders conflicted (see above).

Satir went her own way. She was very active and traveled the World promoting a more humanistic family therapy.

She became dedicated to influencing larger systems; the salvation of mankind as well as the enhancement of people’s lives became a primary focus.

She used methods and a model derived from her linguistic style (see Bandler, Grinder, & Satir, 1976) to provide growth experiences and to train others in her methods.

Virginia Satir died of pancreatic cancer in 1988.

According to Satir “So many of the words professional people use to talk about human beings sound sterile and lack life and breath images”

  1. Much of the writing done by experientialists is evocative than elucidative.
  2. Despite the paucity of theoretical statements, t there are a number of basic premises that define the experiential position on families and their treatment.

(1). A commitment to individual awareness, expression, and self-fulfillment.

(2). Whitaker emphasized that self-fulfillment depends on family cohesiveness.

(3). Satir stressed the importance of good communication with other family members.

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Satir described normal families as ones that nurture its members.

Individual family members are considerate of each to feel valued and loved. B.

Affection is freely given and received.

Family members are open and candid with each other. Anything can be talked about-the disappointments, fears, hurts, angers, criticisms as well as the joys and achievement.

  1. Flexibility and constructive problem-solving as characteristics of a healthy family.
  2. Nurturing parents realize that change is inevitable; accept it and use it creatively.
  3. The idealized version of family life is better taken as a prescription for, rather than a description of, healthy family living.

Satir stressed the role of destructive communication in smothering feelings and said that

There were four dishonest ways people communicate:

  1. Blaming.
  2. Placating.
  3. Being irrelevant.
  4. Being super reasonable.
  5. Behind these patterns of inauthentic communications is low self-esteem.
  6. If we feel bad about ourselves, it’s hard to tell the truth about our feelings or have the strength to let others tell us honestly what they feel.

Satir termed her approach a process model “in which the therapist and the family join forces to promote wellness”. Underlying this model are four fundamental assumptions:

The natural movement of all individuals is toward positive growth and development.

All individuals possess all of the resources necessary for positive growth and development.

Mutual influence and shared responsibility; that is, everyone and everything is impacted by, and impacts, everyone and everything else. Therefore, there can be no blame-only multiple stimuli and multiple effects.

Therapy is a process involving interaction among clients and between clients and therapist.

For Satir all behavior is communication. Since communication involves the sending and receiving of information, messages must be sent and received clearly within families if individuals are to survive and flourish.

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