Sugar? Spice? Everything Nice? What Are The 5 Most Fundamental Ingredients For An Effective Trainer?

This week, I’ve been in India working with a training colleague in preparation to roll out a new curriculum.  This colleague is a novice trainer and her supervisor doesn’t have any training background.  But the quality and effectiveness of the work of this colleague will have significant impact on the work of our entire global mission, and therefore it’s vital that she blossoms into a high quality training professional.

In order to focus our efforts to develop this colleague professionally, I developed a competency rubric by which we can rate her current level of training proficiency, create a development plan with several specific goals based on her needs, then work toward those goals.

To create this rubric, I wanted to capture the essence of what I feel are the top five most basic, fundamental, foundational competencies for anyone who trains.  The five competencies I included in this rubric (which can be downloaded by clicking here) are:

  1. Presentation Skills
  2. Creativity
  3. Body Language
  4. Adult Learning Principles
  5. Subject Matter Expertise (if you download the rubric, you’ll see that this section is customized to the specific industry I’m working in – eye banking)

Getting Started

This is not a scientifically-developed list.  It’s not intended to be.  There are a lot of factors that will impact any facilitator’s ability to be effective (experience level, trainees’ supervisor support, policies/procedures in place that allow trainees to implement new skills and abilities when they return to their jobs after training, etc.).  This list of factors can indeed be overwhelming, especially for someone new to the learning and development profession. 

This list is simply intended to get a novice trainer focused on some of the key elements within their circle of influence (to borrow a term from Stephen Covey).  It is a tool to establish a baseline of current skills, abilities, knowledge and behaviors.  It is a tool I plan to use to identify performance gaps and establish specific goals.

What Do You Think?

If you find this rubric to be helpful in assessing your own current set of training skills and abilities, please use it… and then tell me how it works for you.  If you feel there are more important, more basic, more foundational skills that trainers (especially novice trainers) should be focused on, I invite you to share those ideas in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “Sugar? Spice? Everything Nice? What Are The 5 Most Fundamental Ingredients For An Effective Trainer?

  1. Brian, Great ideas and very timely. I’m developing a train-the-trainer program focussed on senior empowerment and prevention of senior abuse. Our facilitators are new to providing learning for others and this will guide our discussion as they prepare for their role as facilitators. One additional element I like to encourage is “think on your feet”. If you have a story or example that illustrates a learning point, use it – these stories complement the theory and facts and stay with the audience long after the training.

    • Thanks for the addition, Jane. Yes, having a story or specific example certainly moves things from the conceptual to the very real. And being able to come up with those “on your feet” is a really good skill for an effective facilitator to have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s