Julie DuNeen recently wrote a post about 25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differently. Having been a public school teacher prior to entering the world of training, it inspired me to look at them and transition the thoughts into the training world. Not all translate however so here are 17 things successful TRAINERS do differently:
1. Successful trainers have clear objectives
Trainers must have clearly defined objectives for their training. Create these first before outlining the training. They guide the training process and ultimately achieve the desired outcome. No General goes into battle without a clear objective, nor should any trainer. Here is a good article from Park University that talks about writing objectives.
2. Successful trainers have a purpose that drives them
Dictionary.com defines purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” Here, purpose is the driving force behind why you are training at all – not just the learning objectives of this specific training module. For example: you are training Customer Service to better handle difficult calls. The training might have a learning objective of “Be able to service customer requests in accordance with the company mission statement.” However the overall purpose of training in general is to improve customer perception. That overall purpose is what drives the creation of learning objectives and ultimately drives the individual training modules that occur.
3. Successful trainers pay close attention to learner feedback
Feedback can come in many forms like body language, verbal interaction, and surveys. Paying attention to these is critical to accomplish successful training. Utilize the feedback to adjust training as you go and also to incorporate suggestions for your next event. For example: you are teaching a live group how to properly classify medical charts. As you proceed through your slides you notice everyone has a confused look on their face. Note this and begin asking questions to determine where you lost them, then re-teach necessary material. In another example you review surveys from your training event and notice numerous comments about difficulty reading your slides. Take time to adjust them for clarity, readability, and visual interest before you use them again.
4. Successful trainers have an attitude of success
Yeah, the whole “power of a positive attitude” really does make a difference. Learners pick up on the attitude you bring to the training (even in the way you write for training modules in print) and will emulate it. Have you ever gone into training when really tired, and then wondered why your class seemed sleepy? Or disinterested in what you were training and wondered why the class wasn’t engaged? Act if you have to, but emulate the attitude you want to see in your learners.
5. Successful trainers expect their learners to succeed
Set the bar. Tell them you expect them to achieve it. Not “here are today’s learning objectives”, but “here is what I expect you to know at the end of today’s training.” If you come in with an attitude of expectation, they will be more likely to achieve it (see #4.)
6. Successful trainers have a sense of humor
Okay, this one is hard. I’ve known trainers that had the humor of a fence post on a bad day in a rain storm. But humor is a huge part of keeping students interested. It causes laughter, releases endorphins, decreases stress, and allows for a clearer thought process. The important thing is to find balance. Too much humor and nothing gets accomplished. Too little and the training is dull and boring. I know one professional speaker who actually hires out his jokes to a humor writer and inserts them into his live teaching. Whatever it takes, spice up your training to keep it interesting.
7. Successful trainers give …