A Response to Leaders and Trainers

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    Learn & LeadI received a comment on one of my blog articles in which I think the reader totally misunderstood me, and I certainly bear some responsibility for not being clear. A case of bad communication certainly. I should begin by telling you he agreed with something I knew I didn’t say and I couldn’t leave it hanging. I may like this response to his comment maybe even a little more than the original article, The Anatomy of a Trainer. Sometimes writers aren’t fond of everything they write and sometimes they surprise themselves with a very creative piece. Hope you like this one. It’s short and sweet.

    Although the title may seem to be misleading, it really isn’t. I talk about leaders and trainers throughout. When I responded to his comment, this was my response:

    “I think you misunderstood my basic premise. Sorry that it has taken me so long to get to this.

    “For the most part, I am saying that trainers can be located anywhere in the organization. We are not all created equal. Nor are organizations.

    “I do not always agree a subject matter expert (SME) is the best choice of a trainer. Having an SME standing by to answer questions and clarify points and using the trainer more as a facilitator works best. If the SME is not a good communicator, he or she is likely to give too much information and literally gag the audience.

    “I did start out my piece by using the same places where leadership may be found–the idea being that trainers are often found that way, too, and may often exhibit leadership qualities. In fact, I have written pieces that encourage trainers to be leaders in their own organization, to take initiative, to motivate employees, to advise the boss; after all, the trainer represents the boss, the very image of boss’ vision, every time he or she stands in front to train.

    “Now, I have students who would agree with you about online learning and training themselves rather than being in a classroom. That depends on so many variables. How devoted the student is to learning. How good the program is. What about retention? Is the program memorable enough over time?

    “Some subjects where little has to be retained and is of minor interest (usually box-checking) are perfect for a packaged program, and we’ve had them around for years in one format or another. If the online learning involves you actually performing the task you are learning, then it is beneficial. There are some that use writing discussions. What about those who don’t write so well; they are disadvantaged. Again, we have to talk about retention.

    “Bad classroom training gets old quickly; good classroom training, which is dynamically presented and involves the trainees in various tasks, can actually be fun.

    “The major point to take away is: not every training session has to conform to any particular form except that which best suits the subject you are training about. Something to think about. Trainers teach leadership. Can leaders teach training? Training leaders and trainers to lead works best. In my humble opinion.”

    Happy Training.

    That’s all for now. These are my words and opinions. Please feel free to disagree and comment, or contact me. If you’re interested in more of my points of view–my Cave Man way of looking at things, I have a website where you can find other items I have written. For more information on my peculiar take on training, check out my best selling The Cave Man Guide To Training and Development, and for a look at a world that truly needs a reality check, see my novel about the near future, Harry’s Reality! Meanwhile, Happy Training.

    For more resources about training, see the Training library.