Elaine Biech

Our Publications

Training for Dummies, 2005

Covers everything from the profession’s evolution to trends that are shaping today’s organizations to ideas for making training sessions enjoyable and effective.

~Mindy Meads, CEO, Lands’ End

Millions of Americans have to train others as part of their jobs. Whether you’re an employee training your co-workers on a new process or skill, a volunteer asked to train new volunteers, a chef training your staff, or a paramedic giving CPR training, it’s just as important to know how to teach others as it is to know what you’re talking about. It doesn’t matter how much you know about your subject if you can’t share it with others.

Fortunately, Training for Dummies offers all the nuts and bolts of training for anyone who has to educate others on any subject and in any field. It covers all the modern, interactive instructional methods and dynamic training approaches available and helps you get trainees inspired, involved, and enthused. You’ll discover:

  • Tips, techniques, and tidbits for enhancing your training sessions
  • Alternatives to the traditional lecture method
  • Tactics for gauging and managing group dynamics
  • Strategies for addressing problems in the classroom
  • Hints for understanding and adapting to different learning styles
  • Helpful resources and other extra material you can put to immediate use
  • Ways to keep it interesting so trainees learn more eagerly
  • Tips to use audio and visual aids effectively

No matter what you do for a living, there will probably come a time when you have to teach others what you know. Training for Dummies cuts through the complicated jargon to present the basics of teaching and learning in straightforward, plain English so you can share your specialized knowledge with those who need it.

Trainer’s Warehouse Book of Games, 2008

Kick up your training sessions a notch! If you want to make group learning more fun and effective, this is the resource for you. Training expert Elaine Biech, author ofTraining for Dummies, challenged some of the world’s best game designers to create never-before-seen games using popular training toys and tools from Trainer’s Warehouse, the nation’s leading supplier of learning resources. Whether you’re a full-time workplace learning professional or occasional trainer, this collection contains the most ingenious and inventive collections of learning games. The collection uses a host of common and readily available tools and toys, from throwables and tactiles, to white boards on a stick and noise-making boomwackers. This book will appeal to anyone who delivers training and education – and presenters, too – the games run the gamut from short energizers, icebreakers and closers, to more involved group and team-building activities.

Thriving Through Change: A Leader’s Practical Guide to Change Mastery, 2007

“Elaine Biech is a national treasure. She has a magician’s talent for taking the ideal, speculative, and theoretical and transmuting it into the real, applicable, and practical. This is not a book of theories and practices, but a practical guide filled with templates, checklists, useful advice, and on-the-ground guidance. Elaine Biech, one of the most respected consultants in the workplace learning field”

~James M. Kouzes

Everyone accepts that change is a fact of life: we change jobs; we change our diets and lifestyles; and of course organizations change to meet market place demands.

Today’s global organizations must embrace change if they plan on thriving in the global economy. This new title contains practical advice that can be immediately applied. Based on solid theory and demonstrated experience, here is a candid compilation of lessons learned about change.

Thriving Through Change is a book directed a change leaders who are tasked with leading organizations. It shows how to embrace change and ultimately profit from the experience. Through its commonsense approach backed up by dozens of tools, techniques, assessments, worksheets, you are guided step-by-step as you introduce and implement successful organizational change initiatives. While the book is grounded in the best theory and science of change, it is chock-full of real-world practical advice along with a powerful and tested six-step change model that is compatible with any change intervention including structural, process, cultural, growth, downsizing, cost cutting, and others. You will find appropriate tools and techniques at each stage of implementation that will help you hone your skills as a change agent or change leader.

Finally, a CD-ROM is included that contains valuable worksheets, assessments, and tools ready for immediate use in your own change initiative.

The Road Tested Activities Book

This book offers you a selection of over 100 activities and trainer tools and techniques. Every activity has been implemented by your ASTD colleagues. Turn to The Trainer’s Book of Road-Tested Activities for a rich source of ideas. Try out new classroom tools and approaches that others in your profession have found successful. Experiment with some of the technology tools presented for your long-distance learning events. The activities will add loads of learning and fabulous fun to your next training session. Each activity is accompanied by insider tips and observations from the activity designer to ensure you consider all the details for your success.

The book is divided into two sections and sixteen chapters. Section One, “Training Topics,” includes ten of the sixteen chapters. Each chapter represents a specific training topic such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. The activities are presented as complete and ready-to-use designs for working with groups: facilitator instructions, lecturettes, handouts, and participant materials are included. Section Two, “Training Tools and Techniques,” includes six chapters. Each of the chapters represents training techniques that may be incorporated into many training sessions, including icebreakers, training techniques, and technology tools. All will enrich your training design.

The Pfeiffer Annual for Trainers, 2012

The Pfeiffer Annual Series has been serving trainers and consultants since 1972. The Annuals are a collection of practical and useful materials for professionals in the training and consulting professions published in two volumes: Training and Consulting. Each Annual has three main sections: Experiential Learning Activities; Inventories, Questinnaires, and Surveys; and Articles and Discussion Resources. Submissions cover content in communication, leadership, organizational development, problem solving, teamwork, and many other topics.

Elaine has edited both Annuals since 1998. If you are interested in submitting an activity, inventory, or article, please contact her office at 757.588.3939 or pfeifferannual@aol.com to request a submission kit. If your submission is accepted for publication you will receive a set of the Annuals for the year in which your submission is printed. Best of all: You will be considered a Wiley author and will receive Wiley discount on all their books.

The Pfeiffer Annual for Consultants, 2012

The Pfeiffer Annual Series has been serving trainers and consultants since 1972. The Annuals are a collection of practical and useful materials for professionals in the training and consulting professions published in two volumes: Training and Consulting. Each Annual has three main sections: Experiential Learning Activities; Inventories, Questinnaires, and Surveys; and Articles and Discussion Resources. Submissions cover content in communication, leadership, organizational development, problem solving, teamwork, and many other topics.

Elaine has edited both Annuals since 1998. If you are interested in submitting an activity, inventory, or article, please contact her office at 757.588.3939 or pfeifferannual@aol.com to request a submission kit. If your submission is accepted for publication you will receive a set of the Annuals for the year in which your submission is printed. Best of all: You will be considered a Wiley author and will receive Wiley discount on all their books.

The Leadership Challenge activities book

ACTIVE Learning for Exemplary Leaders

The best leaders are the best learners. This evidence-based truth has been a foundational principle of The Leadership Challenge since it was first published nearly twenty-five years ago. In this new work, bestselling Leadership Challenge authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner team up with experiential learning expert Elaine Biech to bring today’s leaders over 100 engaging activities designed to expand and accelerate their leadership development efforts.

Grounded in The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model, The Leadership Challenge Activities Book includes tools, tips, and techniques for extraordinary training delivery; suggestions for activity facilitation; an overview of The Five Practices model; and a broad selection of activities for each of The Five Practices (Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart) as well as several general leadership skills activities.

World-class contributors to this unique volume include Jean Barbazette, Geoff Bellman, Daryl Conner, Ann Hermann-Nehdi, Beverly Kaye, Lou Russell, Cal Wick as well as a selection of Leadership Challenge Certified Masters. While primarily designed for classroom training sessions, the activities can easily be adapted for one-on-one coaching situations (including LPI feedback coaching), educational classroom settings, or web-based learning sessions. A companion website features the handouts and worksheets associated with some activities, which can be reproduced and customized.

The Consultant’s Quick Start Guide, 2nd ed, 2008

“…all you need to become a successful independent consultant for the long haul!”

~Ken Blanchard

Consulting can be a most rewarding career – but being good at consulting is not always enough to keep your business profitable. It is essential that you also learn the skills you need to manage your business. A complete blueprint for your first year in business, The Consultant’s Quick Start Guide offers you a practical approach to setting up a consulting business. Throughout this guide, Elaine shares both her own secrets as well as those of numerous other successful consultants. With a focus on the business side of consulting, she takes you through a painless, fill-in-the-blanks, step-by-step process for setting up your consulting firm.
You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop a dynamic business plan
  • Market consulting services
  • Meet critical legal requirements
  • Build client relationships
  • Grow a profitable business

Plus, you’ll get a wealth of useful tools, including worksheets, action lists, sample letters, marketing and promotional ideas, sample dialogues, and ready-to-use forms that will help you understand how to create a valuable business.

You will find this Guide useful if you are thinking about trying your hand at becoming a consultant. The Guide walks you through several issues you must consider in determining whether the profession is right for you. You will explore whether you have the required skills and attributes to be a successful consultant. You will rate yourself against other entrepreneurs. You will identify personal, professional, and financial considerations necessary to ensure a quick start. And you will also explore your preferred future to determine whether consulting will allow you to achieve your professional and personal life goals.

The Consultant’s Legal Guide, 2000

A great flight plan to avoid turbulence…wish it had been available when I began consulting.”
~Howard Putnam

Elaine Biech, author of the best-selling Business of Consulting, teams up with attorney/mediator Linda Swindling to create the only complete, user-friendly overview of legal issues faced by consultants. Having a legal background improves consultants’ day-to-day work, as well as helps them avoid costly litigation. Readers will become comfortable with a wide variety of contracts and legal language. In addition, the authors offer advice on when to walk away from losing relationships and when to seek legal counsel. The book includes a disk containing useful tools, sample forms, checklists, and links on the web.

The Business of Consulting, 2nd ed, 2007

“Practical, compassionate, and a good alternative to an MBA”       

~Peter Block

Consulting is a rewarding career. You are no doubt a very fine consultant. But being good at consulting isn’t good enough to keep you profitable. You also need to manage your business. The content of this book focuses on the business side of consulting: how to develop a business plan, how to market your business, how to charge for your services, how to build a client relationship, how to grow the business, how to ensure your continued professional growth, and of course how to make money in the profession.

The consulting profession has become one of the fastest-growing industries and observers expect that both the demand for such services and the avocation’s undeniable allure will continue to draw people into the profession. However, management consultant Elaine Biech believes that most newcomers are completely unprepared for the operational realities they encounter.
The Business of Consulting has been written for several kinds of people: the individual who is considering a consulting profession and perhaps wonders how to get started; the new consultant who may have mastered consulting and now realizes that there is also a business to run; and the experienced consultant continuing a lifelong learning journey who is looking for a few practical tips.

To assist you, all of the forms presented in the book have been put on a disk. All you need to do is pop the disk in your computer, personalize the forms with your name, and print forms to use for things such as cash flow projections, marketing plans, tracking your time, or identifying your aptitude to start a business. The goal for writing this book was to provide you with as many practical tools and sound ideas as possible. Most were learned through trial and error. Perhaps this book will prevent you from making some of the same errors.


The ASTD Leadership Handbook was awarded by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title.

Features a who’s who of leadership gurus, The Leadership Handbook is an exciting compilation of insights, ideas and tools that will enable individuals, teams, and organizations to fully develop their leadership capabilities. It provides a complete overview of leadership and covers a full range of topics, including competencies, development, attributes, and current challenges, taking a broad view of what leadership means.

The ASTD Leadership Handbook is divided into five sections – Leadership Competencies, Leadership Development, Characteristics of Successful Leaders, Contemporary Leadership and the Global Role of Leadership. Chapters are written from a practical perspective, includes three dozen tool to apply concepts, such as John Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model, Bill Gentry’s Checklist for Avoiding Leader Derailment as well as Marshall Goldsmith’s Mini Coaching survey. These tools are available as free downloads on the book’s accompanying website.

This handbook sets itself apart in a crowded field by emphasizing leadership development and providing practical approaches to address this crucial need. When you pick up The ASTD Leadership Handbook you hold almost 2,000 years of experience in your hands. This will surely be the definitive leadership resource for many years to come.

The ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals, 2008

Authoritative, complete, and current, the ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals is an easy-to-use, must-have reference tool for all learning professionals. This ‘go to’ resource and reference guide, edited by Elaine Biech, is packed full of key methodologies, practices, and procedures on every topic including training design and delivery, analyzing needs, measurement and evaluation, e-learning, organization development, managing the learning function, and human performance improvement.

The ASTD Handbook brings together authors who represent the best practitioners in the field, authorities to present the most critical information to professionals. and other industry leaders. Included in this volume are a complete glossary and a CD-ROM with supporting worksheets and tools.
The ASTD Handbook is an impressive collection of the Workplace Learning and Performance knowledge. With this book, you hold 2000 years of experience between your hands. The authors read like the who’s who in the field. No where else can you find Dana Robinson, Bob Pike,   Harold Stolovitch, Mel Silberman, Thiagi, Peter Senge, Geoff Bellman, Don Kirkpatrick, Marv Weisbord, Rob Brinkerhoff, Jack Phillips and 50 other names you know – all in one book. Each of the 9 sections represents a major area of the profession. Each section is introduced by a luminary – an individual who has reach legendary stature in the profession. The 49 mind-expanding chapters are sure to wow you. If you have the question, this book will have the answer!

Successful Team-Building Tools 2nd ed, 2007

Year after year, consultants, trainers, and human resource professionals have come to rely on The Pfeiffer Annuals to provide them with the most current and quality tools on a wide variety of topics. In this book, editor Elaine Biech and contributors to the Annuals have honed in on the important theme of team building to create the first topic-specific book inThe Pfeiffer Annuals series. The Pfeiffer Book of Successful Team-Building Tools, 2nd Edition, includes an innovative ten-block model for building a high-performance team and draws on the best-on-the-topic articles from thirty-five years of Annuals volumes.

“. . . I’m just beside myself with glee to have a collection of the ‘classic teambuilding tools’ all in one place! Elaine Biech has done a masterful job of bringing together the all-time favorites and organizing them into a practical model. . .” 

~James M. Kouzes

Marketing Your Consulting Services, 2003

“Buy this book today so that you can reap the rewards tomorrow. Your business will thank you.”
 ~Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge, and chairman emeritus, The Tom Peters Company

To keep your competitive edge in the marketplace, you must find practical and inexpensive ways to retain the clients you have, develop new clients, and increase your bottom line.

Marketing Your Consulting Services is a complete how-to guide that will help you develop and implement a dynamic marketing plan that will make your consulting business more visible to clients and more competitive in the marketplace. This practical and easy-to-use resource includes useful guidance, practical ideas, special consulting considerations, and creative tips. Marketing Your Consulting Services is filled with the information you need to help you:

  • Develop a successful marketing plan
  • Understand the marketing ins and outs of a small consulting firm
  • Find new clients
  • Get your clients to refer you to other clients
  • Implement inexpensive and effective marketing tools
  • Develop creative marketing ideas
  • Retain the clients you have today

Elaine urges you to develop a “market all the time” attitude, and to help you get started, she recommends hundreds of ideas that can be easily implemented. In addition, the book’s “Fast Fourteen To Do Today” are suggestions you can put immediately into practice to help jump-start your business. Written to be a hands-on resource, Marketing Your Consulting Services also includes Quick tips throughout each chapter for easy reference.

Marketing Your Consulting Services offers you the practical tools and helpful suggestions necessary to market and sell your consulting services. It includes everything a consultant needs to know about marketing to be – and stay – successful.

Developing Talent for Organizational Results

Any time a group of talented, professional leaders join forces to pool the best that they have to offer, the result is astonishing. Developing Talent for Organizational Resultsis a perfect example. The book brings together the work of many of the most renowned learning providers in the world – all of them members of ISA: the Association of Learning Providers. Forty-seven inspiring chapters present the wisdom of these leaders in the field of training and development. You know their corporate names: The Ken Blanchard Companies, DDI, Forum, Herrmann International, Bev Kaye, Zenger Folkman, and others. All have generously shared insights in their primary areas of expertise. This book is filled with a million dollars’ worth of consulting advice to help your organization achieve desired results.

Ready to Deliver Tools. Each chapter is also accompanied by a tool – a survey, process, questionnaire, assessment, tips, quick references, and the like – that is briefly described in the back of the book. You can download these tools directly from the website at www.pfeiffer.com/go/isa [user name: training; password: biech] for your immediate use. Here’s the best part – as long as you maintain the copyright information and the “used with permission” designation on the tools, you may use all of them for your daily work. This is a generous gift from the ISA companies.

Change Management Training

Organizations are challenged by the constant barrage, faster pace, and complexitty of change. Successful organizations are proactive about change and look for fresh ways to turn obstacles into opportunities.The book is includes everything you need to deliver a successful New Supervisor Training workshop:

  • Interactive and engaging materials based on best practices and theory.
  • Straightforward, practical instructions for delivering the workshops.
  • Flexible timing—choose from half-day, full-day, and two-day workshop formats.
  • Printable training materials—activities, handouts, tools, assessments, and slides.

Follow-up support—tips, templates, and checklists.

ASTD Ultimate Train The Trainer, 2009

A complete, customizable program for preparing training professionals, occasional trainers, and subject matter experts from the foremost practitioner, author, and expert in the industry—Elaine Biech.

A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders

Done well, leadership and coaching are closely intertwined: Good leaders coach and good coaches lead. Now, in A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders, leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner and coaching expert Elaine Biech show you how to incorporate the proven leadership development principles of the bestselling book, The Leadership Challenge to inject a new level of success into your coaching practice or program.

A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders introduces coaches to The Leadership Challenge model, the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), and The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership – Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart – and provides a road map for quickly and easily including them in your coaching regiment to:

  • Help leaders develop precise critical skills within The Five Practices
  • Develop high potential leaders to be even more effective
  • Enable leaders to implement The Five Practices in their daily routine
  • Facilitate a leader’s transition to a new position
  • Customize a program for the classroom, online, or one-on-one coaching
  • Address questions and facilitate solutions to common problems

Moreover, the book outlines the competencies of accomplished coaching and lists the “6Cs for Coaching” – six specific steps for taking your coaching process from start to finish – so you can apply The Five Practices to your own growth as a coach.

Filled with best practices and success stories as well as worksheets and checklists, A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders hands you a powerful new tool to help your leaders move to excellence.

90 World-Class Activities by 90 World-Class Trainers, 2007

Training Media Review named this book theBest Training Product of 2007″. 90 World-Class Activities by 90 World-Class Trainers gathers favorite activities from ninety master trainers in one convenient place. The stellar list of trainers includes Bellman, Blanchard, Booher, Crum, de Bono, Kouzes, Masie, Pike, Robinson, Scannell, Silberman, Thiagi, Zenger, and 77 other names you’ll know.

Elaine has gathered a powerful and exciting collection of activities from around the globe. The sixteen topics include change management, coaching, diversity, leadership, and teamwork. This invaluable resource presents the favorite activities of some of the most talented trainers in the world – all seven continents are represented.

All of these activities have stood the test of time and are presented here for your use to engage teams and groups in collaborative learning. The contributors provide helpful suggestions for adapting the activities to a particular setting or audience and present ideas for adding zest to their favorite activities to ensure that you are as successful with them as they have been.

The book is filled with experience and expertise. Combined, the contributors have written and edited almost 800 books and over 3,700 articles and have received hundreds of awards. Many are members of the HRD Hall of Fame and advise some of the largest organizations in the world. Draw on their expertise and implement several of the activities. Your success is guaranteed.

Training Media Review Best Training Product of 2007!

10 Steps to Successful Training, 2009

10 Steps to Successful Training provides practical applications for the immediate implementation of effective training. With three decades of experience, legendary training expert Elaine Biech focuses on results, not formulas, to pinpoint the key traits of successful training and reveal actions that most positively effect bottom-line results and fast-forward learning.

Part of the ASTD 10 STEPS series.

“If trainers want to link learning to the business, they need to follow Elaine Biech’s 10 Steps to Successful Training.    Following these 10 steps will ensure trainers     present relevant and   useful content that learners will use.” 

~Patti Phillips, Ph.D.,  President and CEO, ROI Institute