Think back to the last staff training session that you attended.
Was it engaging? Did you learn anything?
Do you think preparing staff training sessions would be an easy gig?
Before you decide that delivering training is a walk in a park here are some important facts about the your trainer’s life that you probably haven’t considered.
“Good trainers never claim to have all the answers, but welcome questions that they can’t answer with a promise to find out.
1. Your trainer knows some subjects are boring
Compliance reasons dictate that some subject matter simply has to be delivered in a training format and let’s face it delivering some of this stuff is your trainer’s worst nightmare.
Undoubtedly they’ve spent hours agonising over how to make that dull, boring subject interesting and engaging. Sometimes they even pull it off. If they don’t, it isn’t for lack of trying.
2. Your trainer will have favourites
It’s not intentional. Some people just click better than others. When participants engage and interact, your trainer is likely to feed off that energy.
They’re human and will respond to where the positivity is coming from. It’s only natural that they view those engaged participants in a more positive light than others who simply seem disinterested. You can overcome this by ensuring you become one of your trainer’s favourites.
3. Your trainer is prepared to take risks
Of course they are. It comes with the territory. Standing up in front of a crowd and speaking is never easy. Not only are trainers not afraid to speak to a crowd, they know and understand that they have to engage the audience to have an impact.
Sometimes they might go out on a limb and try something different to get a reaction or to get buy in. Sometimes those efforts work, sometimes they don’t, but rest assured your trainer is trying their best to deliver a positive result.
4. Your trainer is not an expert
Good trainers never claim to have all the answers and they welcome those questions that they can’t answer, with a promise to find out. While trainers rarely claim to be an expert on a particular subject, they are well prepared to deliver a training session on an aspect of that subject.
They’ve researched and prepared their session to help you get better at what you do.
5. Your trainer understands that you may not “get it” the first time
Nothing is easy the first time and everybody learns at different levels. Besides, on any given day some people, for whatever reason, won’t be totally switched on.
Your trainer structures presentations accordingly to reinforce key points and to give you a clear understanding of what is required. They encourage questions for a reason – make use of their time. He or she will appreciate it.
6. Your trainer reads a lot
Training is not a job that you can just improvise on the spot. Lessons have to be planned and researched. That means a lot of reading. Almost always done in the trainer’s own time.
It may come as a surprise to you, but trainers don’t come ready made with complete knowledge about a subject. Often they have to do the hard yards researching and learning a specific topic so that they can present it to you in a coherent fashion.
7. Trainers spend time on social media
They’re also professional enough to realise that social media channels are public spaces that can be used for effective collaboration and work-related chats. Some trainers even use mediums like Twitter to encourage dialogue with trainees.
8. Your trainer is an easy target
Trainers want you to succeed for good reason – self preservation. They are judged on outcomes. When things go wrong in the workplace one of the first “reasons” rolled out by both management and staff on occasions is inadequate training or poor training.
When the wheels fall off a project it sometimes can be easy to blame the trainer rather than supervision, inadequate planning or a host of other management failings. Your trainer is aware of this. You can rely on them to be well prepared and to have documented that preparation.
9. Your trainer is not a robot
They don’t just come to work, switch on and deliver perfect sessions. They too struggle with juggling the demands of their personal and professional lives.
The car doesn’t start, the kids are ill and there’s unexpected bills just as often for the trainer as anybody else. Professionals act as they must, not as they feel. Your trainer embodies that philosophy. Training is delivered with passion and integrity without betraying all the personal stuff rising to the surface.
10. Your trainer doesn’t necessarily agree with policy
Nor will they betray their feelings in this regard. Not all policy is good policy, but your trainer is there to deliver the message and ensure that you understand what is required of you, according to policy. They did not conceive it or write it. They’re just the messenger.
If you don’t agree with a policy that is at the heart of some training program being delivered, your trainer can’t change the training or the policy. Save your breath. Absorb the training and if you really have a beef about some aspect of policy raise it with your direct supervisors or management.
When you next attend a training session, remember that your trainer is investing their time and energy in your improvement and that their presentation was not thrown together in five minutes. Take the time to thank them – they’re sure to appreciate it.
Thank you for reading this.