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10 Things All Trainers Should Avoid Like The Plague

November 16, 2015 9:09 by

For the sake of your trainees, your company and ultimately yourself, don’t do the following ten things:

Photo credit: Andrej Chudy, published under CC.

Photo credit: Andrej Chudy, published under CC.

  1. Don’t schedule an entire workweek. No company’s going to let their employees be away from work for the entire week. Space out the training over the course of a month or even two months, if you have to.
  2. Don’t let yourself be tricked into stuffing a three day training course’s content into one day. Precisely for the reason stated above, management may pressure you to condense the training. Don’t give in to the pressure! Propose the same solution as just mentioned, i.e. deliver the training over multiple weeks, or have your participants do some of the preparation online, through an online training platform (e.g. a learning management system).
  3. Don’t ever think your participants have nothing to teach you. A participant may know more about a particular topic than you. In that case, ask the participant something along the lines of “So Dave, what’s your opinion on this topic?” Also use this opportunity to create some interaction with the group: “Does anybody have any additional questions for Dave?” (Assuming Dave is open to that kind of thing.)
  4. This one should be obvious to all trainers, but just to be sure: Don’t just repeat the textbook. Instead, adjust your presentation to your customer’s needs – and the real-time response of your participants! Involve them by asking for their own experiences. See how your training can be implemented on the job - their job. In short: teach less, facilitate more.
  5. Avoid scheduling the edges of the workweek. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons may not be the best times of the week for your training. On Mondays, many people are still mentally engaged elsewhere. On Fridays, they’re looking ahead at the weekend.

    Photo credit: Rowan Heuvel, published under CC.

    Photo credit: Rowan Heuvel, published under CC.

  6. Don’t dress too casually or too formally. Try to figure out what your audience is like in advance and adapt your style of dressing to theirs.
  7. Avoid too much seat time. Get everybody on their feet every once in a while to keep them engaged.
  8. Don’t keep your participants isolated. For many professionals, a training session presents a chance to do some networking. Help them a little bit by having everybody introduce themselves. Or have everyone edit their profile and upload their picture in your online training platform, in advance of the training session.
  9. Avoid running over time. Keep a bit of spare time at the end of the training session for discussion and informal drinks, coffee or tea.
  10. Don’t come unprepared. You don’t have to script every joke, but participants know it when you improvise too much.

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