It’s one thing to be a trainer. It’s quite another to explain how you do it to other people.
Here is what I have learned from trying to pass on training skills and knowledge to other people.
Key message: Be systematic
1 Be systematic in your approach to training needs analysis, design, delivery, evaluation, and follow-up.
2 Follow the training cycle, and use the connections, overlaps and interdependencies between each stage of the cycle to leverage the effectiveness of your programs.
Training Needs analysis
Training is a collective process
3 Approach the TNA as an opportunity not only to identify the learning needs, but also to begin building a positive working relationship with the participants.
Start with measurable learning objectives
4 Create measurable learning objectives, and use them as a framework to decide what to include in the training program, and what to leave out.
Balance process and content
5 Ensure that there is a good fit between the training content and the training process:
- Select different types of learning activity to suit individual learning styles
- Maintain a balance between information giving and knowledge application
- Set tasks at an appropriate level of challenge for the learners
- Manage the composition of the working groups to facilitate peer2peer learning.
Take participants on a learning journey
6 Guide participants towards the learning objectives step-by-step, and session-by-session. Don’t push or pull the learners towards the objectives. Lead by example.
7 Be present, be authentic, be interested, be curious. Listen carefully, and ask questions that help learners to engage with the materials and with each other.
Facilitate participants’ learning
8 Move skillfully between different facilitation modes, listening and questioning. Encourage, support, challenge and validate participants’ contributions.
Create a shared learning narrative
9 Help participants to make sense of the learning journey by making connections and links between the planned training content, and the unplanned reflections, observations and questions that participants bring to the conversation.
Be transparent and open to feedback
10 Integrate reflection and feedback into the program by modeling openness and willingness to receive feedback during the program.
11 Create a group culture of continuous learning and development by making time in the program for participants to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning.
Walk the talk
12 After a training program get into the habit of taking time to reflect on what went well, and what could have been done differently. Identify key learning for yourself as a trainer and facilitator. If possible, do this immediately after the program together with the training team.