Sep 18, 2009

Trainers Need to Build Their Skills Too

Most people get into corporate training accidentally - after being a subject matter expert in various areas like sales, customer service, HR.

With the result that many Training (or Learning, if you will!) professionals are either self taught in the process of training - or have modeled themselves after a particular trainer whom they have been an apprentice under.

Even when someone like me - who chose to get into training as a personal choice after my MBA - works in the training function (which is becoming more and more distinct from the HR function - at least in large organizations) a large part of the initial years is spent in managing the function along with learning the ropes of training.

However, a decent training of trainers is rare - and most of the time becomes a hybrid between presentation skills and public speaking. The skills of facilitation are taught as an afterthought - and these skills are rarely ever taught:
  1. Needs analysis to segregate skill related needs with other factors interfering with learning - so that one doesn't really look at every business need with a 'training' lens
  2. Linking learning gaps directly to business needs
  3. Understanding Adult learning principles and models like Kolb's theory, Bloom's Taxonomy, Donna Walker's cycle so that one can design a learning intervention with a high level of impact
  4. Knowing how to use various developmental methods (like case studies, role plays, self reflection instruments, videos) to build specific skills