training blog - can you adapt and overcome?
Delivering Training is complex and is always full of challenges you may not necessarily be expecting. This reminds me massively of my former RAF life where we had the reputation of being one of the very best Air Forces in the world, through sheer ability to “Adapt and Overcome” in the face of adversity. On one of our recent PTT Train the Trainer courses in Leeds, our trainer Paul faced a few difficult challenges but came through them with “flying” colours (excuse the pun, but I couldn’t resist); so what skills does he, and the rest of the Target team, possess to do this so well?
Looking back, one of the other fundamentals we had in the RAF and a phrase that was more commonly used was “Flexibility is the key to Air Power” and I think it’s quite easy for us to adapt this to training; Let’s say that: “Flexibility is the key to a great training session.” So, what are the key parts to that flexibility? Here are my top tips:
Expect the unexpected – The mindset that everything will be perfect will hinder you as when the inevitable happens, you will panic as you aren’t mentally expecting it or prepared. Expecting the unexpected in every training session will give you more confidence and in turn, help you keep calmer. I always keep the thought in the back of my mind that in most cases, “This probably isn’t the first time this has happened” which always helps me.
Use the resources you have locally – I love the term “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” as it’s so true. Every good trainer will carry a “bag of tricks” which will help them fix most unexpected issues or problems (more on this next blog) and never be frightened to have a good root around and ask everyone around for their help; you’ll be surprised how resourceful people can be!
Understand your audience – On our PTT Train the Trainer courses, we talk about understanding your audience. Being adequately prepared to deliver according to the needs of your audience can prevent unexpected problems and potential panic.
Learn from each experience – Reflect and keep a note of things that haven’t gone to plan and remember how you solved the issue or problem; it’s all fantastic learning. How could you avoid the same happening again? Do you have to do something or get something that will help you? If so, do it or get it ASAP because if you don’t, there’s more risk of it happening again and putting you on the back foot.
In my next blog, I will talk a little more in-depth about resources, expanding on point 2 to tell you the things you might want to have in your very own “bag of tricks”.