The Trainer In The Training

In my previous column I had shared some of my perspectives regarding the importance of a training and had tried to highlight upon the need for a participant to develop
24 Jun 2017 10:45
The Trainer In The Training
Training participants need to develop an attitude of listening and a positive intent.

In my previous column I had shared some of my perspectives regarding the importance of a training and had tried to highlight upon the need for a participant to develop an attitude of listening and positive intent towards gaining knowledge from the training and subsequently implementing the various ‘learnings’ in the professional as well as personal spheres of life!

However, I have also been of the firm belief that the role of a Trainer is also extremely critical and relevant in the way the training becomes effective for the participants.

Through this column and a few more in the coming future I will be focusing upon the various aspects of a trainer and will be exploring a multitude of essential attributes that could make him the best in his field of work!


The Trainer’s communication skills and abilities!

While I was working with an international software organisation in Mumbai, India as a Business Development Manager I was nominated to attend a Seminar on Negotiating skills. The profile of the Trainer was mailed a few days before the training session and as I read through the profile I found myself staring at a long list of professional qualifications. To add to that he also had tremendous amount of work experience and to end it all he was a visiting faculty at various management institutes across the country.

On the day of the training I reached the venue with a heightened sense of excitement. The trainer then entered to a vibrant applause from all the participants who probably were seated there with eagerness to see him and more importantly to learn from him.

The mike was given to him and he started the training with his ‘lengthy introduction’. After about fifteen minutes of standing and speaking he walked toward the chair that was kept for him and sat upon it and began sharing his perspectives and theories in great detail and depth.

However I felt that something was not correct. Though I was able to hear his voice thanks to the mike I still was not able to concentrate on the things he was sharing with us.

I was losing my focus regularly and quite steadily was also beginning to get bored. It was almost 11am and the trainer suggested that we take a break for coffee and snacks.

It was after saying that he actually got up from his chair to walk to the place where the snacks were kept. It was there at the snack table that I became part of a collective conversation about how the trainer and the training was.

“He may be a double doctorate & PHD in this subject but the ‘LOW TONE’ in which he speaks constantly is getting us extremely disinterested and bored” said one of the participants. “Not just bored but sleepy!” responded another participant.

I too felt the same and shared my own observations “Yeah man! This trainer may know a great deal and may have immense depth regarding the subject of Negotiating skills, but the way he has been lecturing us in that low and disinterested tone I really don’t think I have absorbed anything interesting” I told them.

The training resumed after the coffee- snacks however as we reached the time for lunch some of the participants looked greatly agitated and then there were some who seemed disappointed and began sharing their feedback with us as we were having our lunch.

“Such an important topic this is for me but the manner in which it has been communicated is very depressing. For me and my three colleagues I feel the training up to now has been a waste of time.

When I saw the profile of the trainer and his qualifications cum experience I was keenly looking forward but this has been quite an unpleasant shock.

For now the only thing that has been extremely interesting has been ‘LUNCH’. I am hoping that the second part of this training which will be happening next week will be better than what has transpired today” saying this the man along with his three colleagues returned to the training room with a slightly distressed expression on his face.

Unfortunately the trainer continued to lecture but there was a new addition. He was using Power-point slides and a whole lot of them. His tone after lunch seemed to have gone further low and dispassionate.

His way of communication was almost as though he was giving a lecture to some students at a college and not to professionals attending a corporate training seminar.

There was another aspect regarding his communication which was not seen at all and that was the Art of LISTENING. The trainer surely had a lot of knowledge but what about us? We were all ‘Working Professionals’ and some participants were quite senior in position and experience and therefore had a lot to share too. We were participating not only to listen to the trainer but also for him to listen to us and to therefore have a TWO-WAY Communication process rather than One-Way.

Unfortunately the trainer seemed too busy showering upon us his knowledge continuously and most of which, for me at least, was irrelevant.

Another aspect about the trainer in relation to his communication skills was his lack of ‘Eye-Contact’ towards the entire set of participants. Almost seventy percent of the time the trainer was only looking towards his right side of the audience and that too only at the first two rows leaving the others to do what they wanted.

Due to this many participants found more interest in checking their cell phones or chit-chatting with their fellow participants.

At 5pm he concluded the session and gave us a few assignments to work upon which subsequently had to be presented during the second part of the training which was scheduled for next week.

The moment he uttered the words, “The session for today is over” there was loud sigh of relief from almost all of us.

That was the day I realized that though Subject Knowledge is important what is more critical in a training is the Trainer’s ability to connect and impact the audience with the help of Extremely strong and positive COMMUNICATION skills and techniques.

The trainer who has the aspirations to improve and become an extremely effective and useful must develop his communication skill in such a way that it becomes Impactful; Involving; Inspiring; Interactive (by making participants express freely and fearlessly).

Along with it there has to be Clarity in Content; Conviction in the Objective; Connectivity with the Audience; Concern about whether the audience is involved or not; Conciseness in regards to being to the point and finally CONTROL over speech and negative emotions like Anger and Irritation towards the participants.

There are some other important skills and aspects which I would be sharing in the subsequent columns!

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