Become the trainer everyone raves about!
We have all sat down once as participants in some type of training event. And I’m sure you remember whether the instructor or coach was efficient or a total wreck. I know you notice the good ones, but you probably notice the bad ones more. And if you’ve led sessions, you instinctively say to yourself “I can do better” when they’re bad, or wonder “how can I emulate this trainer” when they’re really good.
Watching, training, instructing, or even just introducing people is daunting, even if you have extensive experience in this field. Whether you have training and teaching experience, host the occasional workshop or orientation session, or simply run a department and need to share knowledge with colleagues and stakeholders, it never hurts to develop or refresh specific skills in knowledge sharing and learning transfer.
Let’s do a little exercise together. First, grab a pen and paper or open a blank Word document. In this document, draw a line down the middle and label each column “effective” and “ineffective.” Next, think about a recent training session you attended as a participant. I get it? Now ask yourself what made the instructor effective or ineffective? Take a moment to write down your thoughts.
For an effective trainer or facilitator, things that usually come to mind are their professionalism, how they led or delivered the course, how they made it relevant to you, and how the course helped develop your knowledge and skills and create a positive climate. attitude to make you more effective in your work. Plus, I can’t believe how quickly time flies when the workout is enjoyable and effortless.
For ineffective or bad workouts, the stories are usually about how boring or irrelevant the workout was, or worse, how you kept wondering why you’re even there when you have better things to do! I also bet you listed things like the instructor didn’t address the appropriate skill level or he just didn’t have the proper communication skills to communicate effectively with the participants. I’m pretty sure you have more thoughts listed.
The only myth people have about effective trainers is that the good ones have a deep and rich knowledge of the subject. Many believe that subject matter experts are the ones who will be best at training others. Unfortunately, subject matter experts and managers continue to be thrown into a training role just because people keep spreading this myth.
But you know what happens most of the time? Participants are frustrated with the expert or manager because they are unable to translate and transfer their knowledge into concepts that the audience can easily understand. Even if the expert or manager knows the subject well, they lack the appropriate learning transfer skills, which ultimately leads to a poor training experience.
Another common example leading to bad coaching experiences is when a trainer or coach is the exact opposite: when they lack the required and relevant knowledge. Although they may have other facilitation skills, participants may feel like the trainer simply filled out a manual or operator’s manual to learn the topic the day before the session.
It is true that having in-depth knowledge is an asset and is necessary to deliver effective training, but it is not the only skill or even the most important. The most impactful trainers and coaches are often not the most knowledgeable on the subject. There are many other factors that contribute to being an effective trainer and leading a successful training session, including:
- Possess the knowledge and skills necessary to train effectively
- Integrate well-developed communication and interpersonal skills
- Foster and encourage a positive problem-solving attitude
Expertise Vs. Training Skill
The good and stress-relieving news is that you don’t have to be an expert to lead a training on a topic. But that doesn’t mean you just have to stand in front of a group and hope they learn something from you. This is what many experienced facilitators call the “spray and pray” approach. Undoubtedly, you need to have a strong working knowledge of the subject, bring relevant experience to make it relevant to attendees, and apply essential training and communication skills that will allow you to effectively transfer knowledge to others.
Effective and experienced trainers ensure that participants leave knowing the basic concepts they came to learn and, more importantly, that they can apply this knowledge or skills in their work or life. They aspire to make a difference in the lives of their participants. And even though these trainers demonstrate learning effectiveness, they still strive to continually improve their own training skills.
Is it difficult to develop your coaching skills?
The question that aspiring trainers often ask me is, “Is it difficult to become an effective trainer?” The short answer is no.” Whether you’re new to training or have years of experience, there are resources, like our recent Develop professional training and facilitation skills courses, which give you the opportunity to acquire, develop and refine your basic training, facilitation and presentation skills. And for a limited time, you can take advantage of the introductory promotional price and an accompanying eBook!
I sincerely encourage you to embark on this journey to develop or refine your training skills, but first, take a moment to think about your needs. Ask yourself, do you have training skills? If so, what skills would you like to develop? And finally, what steps are you going to take to become a better trainer, instructor, or coach?
For most, delivering and conducting a training session can be an overwhelming process. So if you want attendees to walk away with a positive experience, remember to keep it simple and continually hone your training skills. Know that the best trainers and coaches are also continuous learners, so take advantage of this time to become one yourself.
Don’t be complacent and brush up on your training skills now. You can do it in an hour by signing up for this Develop professional training and facilitation skills eLearning course, designed for both recent trainers and seasoned veterans. Learning isn’t just for your participants… as a trainer, you need to lead by example and be a learner yourself.