Archive for August 4, 2011

Training needn’t be a chore

August 4, 2011

Train yourself to be a better trainerThese are tough times. Costs are being cut and savings made, whether they are for long term gain or short term balance keeping. Basically, if it can be cut without raising an outcry, it will be.

Unfortunately, one of the first things being cut from many Council spending columns is the item marked ‘staff training’. If it used to be delivered externally then it is now being brought in-house, if it was in-house it is being scaled back. Many managers are refusing or ignoring applications from their team to attend training sessions as they simply don’t have the time available to release them for a day or more; fewer staff and greater workloads is squeezing this training time out.

With central training teams feeling the pinch, officers who perhaps have never delivered training before are being forced to take on the burden of sharing their skills with their colleagues. They often have little experience of doing so to groups of people, being more experienced using their skills rather than teaching them.

Training others effectively is a very, very difficult skill to master. It is more than simply talking in front of people with a powerpoint behind you, it is about helping your audience not just understand the theory but getting excited about putting it into practice. It is about encouraging them to question themselves and their working practices and supporting them to learn something new which will prove useful in their daily working lives.

The following observations stem from some of the many training courses we have experienced over recent years. Some have been excellent and left us enthused and more knowledgable than when we started; others have made us want to have a standing argument with the trainer and shake them until they realise that we will never recover that lost hour and a half. (more…)