It’s easy right?  All you have to do is talk all day, play some great games and use funky coloured pens and toys – excellent!  Over the years of being a trainer I have had a number of people come up to me after a course I have run and tell me they want to be trainers because they just had so much fun.  You know what that tells me? I did my job and made it look easy, therefore anyone can do it right?

On the opposite side of the discussion I have run train the trainer programmes for people who have been training in their organisations and when I want them to stand up the front of the room and introduce themselves they struggle or freeze – why?  Well, in my experience (and feel free to nod your head if you have had this experience) what happens is training is misunderstood.  So because you have been with the company for 150 years and know all the products and services and have moved around a few roles you will be a GREAT trainer, off you go!

How did that happen?

Hmmm, let me think about that…Friday you were doing your job in the company and Monday you are now either one of the trainers, or the trainer, for the company – POW!  How’d it make you feel?  More importantly how did it make your trainees feel when you ran your sessions?

You see just knowing the in’s and out’s of the company, products, services, jargon and everything else you know does not automatically give you rite of passage to be a great trainer!  Don’t get me wrong, there are always the anomolies; the ones who have the freak gene that relish the instant pressure and limelight of training and dive in head first and make it successful.  But that’s what they are – anomolies, not the norm.

Mere mortals

For the rest of us we need training, education, background, learning, practise and the list goes on.  So here’s my question: would you just take a staff member and make them the company accountant? Or the head of IT? or marketing? Or the legal department? Probably not,  so why don’t we take training just as seriously considering we are impacting peoples lives and their impact on the organisation?  Because training isn’t seen like that, sadly.

Training is a neccessary evil that quite often is done under duress because it has to be, without thought for the impact it will have on the staff, the customers and anyone else your staff deal with.  I have just seen this great video clip on TED Talks and wanted to share it to show the power of the impact you can have on peoples lives without even realising it, let alone when it’s done intentionally.  Take a moment to click on the link and make sure you watch it all the way to the end, you will be glad you did:

We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk from TEDxToronto, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.

So if you are a trainer and you haven’t been trained professionally you need to ask to your manager to put you through a course to show you how much you are missing, if you are a manager reading this,  please – for the impact and difference it make to your trainers, your staff and your customers – put your trainers through a professional course and they will thank you for doing so.

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