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Fiona Pollock

Zostera Ltd

Learning Consultant & Coach

Read more from Fiona Pollock

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Anyone can train… or can they?


"Anyone can be a trainer or facilitator.  It's no big deal. You just stand up and talk about a subject that you know a lot about"

I remember the first time I was told this.  I had just started work in the NHS and I was talking to a consultant surgeon just before he led a section of a development programme I was facilitating.

I was quite taken aback by his attitude.  Of course, his job as a surgeon requires A LOT of specific knowledge and training.  It takes years of studying to develop enough knowledge to even be allowed NEAR a real, live patient. But just because:

  • someone has specialist knowledge of a subject
  • someone is good at public speaking
  • anyone can stand in front of a room of people and talk

It doesn't mean that they SHOULD do this. It doesn't automatically mean that the people attending the session learnt anything, or left with any intention to change their behaviour.

And at the end of the day, that is what training, learning and development is all about.  It's about getting someone to do something differently. Inspiring them to improve their performance, getting them to work in a new way or with new people effectively....

And that requires a particular set of skills and knowledge.  It is both art and science to understand how people learn and change AND to apply that successfully to create and deliver learning which makes a difference.

I do believe that anyone can train or teach others - but only if they have acquired the knowledge and developed the skills to ensure their success.

What do you think?  Can anyone just stand up and train/facilitate?  I'd love to hear your views - join us on twitter or facebook and let me know what you think.

2 Responses

  1. I totally agree with you
    I totally agree with you training is not just standing in public and speaking what ever you have the knowledge.
    Its something you make the other person think on your objectives, making other person accept your objectives and apply that in their work life or personal life

  2. Sadly, many trainers to this
    Sadly, many trainers to this day show up for class, dominate the conversation with their knowledge, deliver way-too-much content and, at the end of the day, call it a successful training day.
    That format is nothing more than a presentation. Such a one-way flow of information does nothing to instill behavior change.

Author Profile Picture
Fiona Pollock

Learning Consultant & Coach

Read more from Fiona Pollock

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