Monday, June 25, 2012

Top 10 Tips on How to Become a SUPER Trainer

"It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well." - Henri-Frederic Amiel (1821-81), Swiss philosopher, poet.

Training is at the core of all our activities be it personal or professional. But good training is not a matter of coincidence, it is a matter of the right mix of knowledge, skills and attributes.

So, what does it take to be a good trainer? Well, in short, it takes time and patience. For the long answer, there are some essentials to training. For example, all training is about communication so the rules of good communication apply to training. Similarly, good training is about robust instructional design and training delivery practices. An application of learning theories and principles helps in delivering good training. But beyond these theories, models and techniques - there are some specific personal skills and attributes that are worth a discussion. 
It is relatively easy to become a good trainer. This usually involves taking some formal education in training, getting certified and learning from your own experience. But in order to transition from
good to great and to really embrace training and make an impact, you need to put in something extra! That's when you become a SUPER TRAINER!

If you are a good trainer and are aspiring to become a SUPER trainer, here are my top 10 tips:
1. Be knowledgeable: It is expected that as a trainer you know a lot about some things and be a subject matter expert in your area of specialization. But  it is also important to know a little about many things. Having a wider view of life makes the difference between a good and a great trainer.
2. Be curious: The common trait of all good trainers is that they are always curious and wanting to learn. In addition, super trainers are not afraid of learning from their learners!
3. Be accepting: As a trainer, you are likely to have a wide variety of participants who don't always learn in the same ways or at the same speed. Accept and embrace the differences and leverage the opportunities presented by diversity.
4. Be patient: Practice makes perfect and for a trainer patience makes super. It takes a lot of patience to teach and train others. 
5. Be a role model: It is one thing to teach someone and another thing to follow what you teach! A super trainer always walks the talk. You have to practice what you preach and become a role model for your trainees.
6. Be a good listener: Most training is about listening rather than talking. We have 2 ears and 1 mouth, not vice versa :) A super trainer is always ready to listen - sometimes even listen things that are not being said.
7. Be challenging: A super trainer has to provide ample opportunities for trainees to feel challenged. Life is never boring with a super trainer around. There is something new waiting to be discovered.
8. Be entertaining: When you are a super trainer, the show must go on. A good training always involves feelings and emotions. Humor and entertainment go a long way in making a memorable session.
9. Be passionate: All super trainers are passionate about their area of expertise and about teaching others. There is a certain degree of positive energy and aura around great trainers. Remember, only passionate trainers can create passionate learners.
10. Be inspiring: As a super trainer, you must aspire to inspire. Every conversation with your learners is an opportunity to train and impact others in a positive way. Seize that opportunity and inspire your learners to do the impossible.

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." - William Arthur Ward