Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How do you like your training?

Workplace training is essential. Yet how can you conduct (or receive) training in a productive, efficient manner?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that people learn and communicate differently:
  • Visually,
  • Auditorally, or
  • Kinesthetically (hands-on).
How do you think it's going to go when a trainer communicates and learns visually and is responsible for training a newbie who communicates and learns auditorally? For example, the trainer will hand the newbie a procedures manual, a video tape (or video to be viewed online), and instructions to get back to her after the newbie completes his reading and viewing. Unfortunately, the newbie would rather get his hands on whatever projects he'll be tackling and jump right in, learning along the way.

I'm, primarily, an auditory communicator and learner. My second choice is to do things kinesthetically. I do not like PowerPoint presentations, brochures, charts, or graphs. I'm simply not visual. If you toss a bunch of pictures at me, I'm not going to enjoy my training--or learn as quickly or as completely--as I would if material is presented to me during conversation or a hands-on exercise.

If you're a trainer, don't make the mistake of believing your trainees will learn if they listen to you, or do things the way you do them. The primary responsibility for a learning experience lies in the hands of the trainer--the person with the superior level of knowledge in the area in question. In order to be effective as a trainer, you need to communicate in a style your trainee receives ... and understands.

What are some of your biggest challenges when it comes to training ... either as a trainer OR as a trainee?

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