Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Do or do not -- there is no try" -- Yoda

Whether you're a Star Wars fan or not, the quote in the title of this post probably resonates. How many times have we heard (or said ourselves), "I will try to..."

The question is, how does this relate to training?

The answer? Too many people wearing the title "trainer" are out there saying "I will try to train the staff to..." And as Yoda so succinctly stated, that just doesn't cut it.

Why do we bother with training if it does not train?

As the trainer, either you do -- or you do NOT convey the information, demonstrate the steps, impart the knowledge or inspire the change. If the trainer is not even sure of his or her ability to really teach, how can there be ANY level of confidence in the outcome of the training?

The worst part is that most would-be trainers are pretty bad at teaching. Yet well trained employees are critical to a company's success!

A few examples:

Training the trainers

The solution is to go back to Yoda's statement and apply that to every training program and trainer in your company. Ask yourself...are they "trying to train" or are they doing it?

If not, it's time to take a step back and provide your training staff (or training person, these days) with the tools they need to effectively convey critical information to employees. Whether that involves classes, feedback, training books, exercises, teaching practice, role playing or maybe just some new training tools, it is essential that it be done and done well. If you're the trainer in need of better skills or tools, what are you doing to correct it?

Bad training is worse than none. If you're an employer, what are your trainers offering? And if you're a trainer, have you fallen into the "I will try to.." trap?

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