In my last blog, I talked about a recent poor training experience someone had when the trainer handled questions poorly and how it completely disengaged the person who was meant to be there learning. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only poor practice that was going on that day; here is part 2:

It’s always critical to remember the reason that training has been organised; the organisation requires an improvement in behaviour, skill and knowledge to make a change.  If the training is being delivered by a trainer in a face to face environment, the behaviour of the trainer is critical to ensure that learning takes place in the very best environment they can foster.  The majority of trainers are there to pass on the learning to make the changes because they (normally) have the skills to do so having been experienced in that field but sometimes there is a vital line that is crossed when perhaps an ego comes into play!  In the recent experience I was given there were statements from the trainer such as “Well I know how to do this very well because I’m an expert”, “I’m really good at this” and “Do you know how to do this? Well, I do!” which in reality are pointless statements other than to tell the audience one of a few things; either they really like themselves and cherish the spotlight, or they are incredibly insecure and aren’t very good at all! Again, this was another example of disengagement at work and combined with poor question handling made for a very memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.  There are a few rules I follow as a trainer in a face to face environment that engage, not disengage my audience:

1. It’s OK to talk about you but in the right way – Sharing your stories and experiences can be a fantastically engaging, enjoyable and memorable experience for any audience. Also, encourage others to share any stories they have statements such as “What is your experience of this?” or getting some great reasoning questions going with plenty of problems and solutions to encourage thinking.  This process is great for facilitation and will potentially create something they will pair with the learning points you have raised which have a better chance of being put straight into long-term memory.

2. Remember why you are there – Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away as you can be really, really passionate on a subject so try not to digress too much; if you do though, get it back on track ASAP.  I regularly will carry on a conversation at a break time that has been thought-provoking or interesting that wasn’t heading in the right direction during a session.  Ultimately, you aren’t there to boast how “great” you are and to have your ego boosted, you are there to make learning happen in the best possible way; it’s NOT all about (me)!

3. You’ve (most likely) already got initial credibility – By virtue of the position you are in, your audience will give you the credibility of being an authority in your field as you are there training them so whatever you do, don’t blow it by coming out with disengaging statements like my examples above!

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.