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Make it special

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Are you still in love with your job or has it just become routine? Can your customers feel it?

One of my first training jobs was to deliver a workshop on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” every other week for a period of about six months.  I loved it; not just because I love training but because I love that particular martial and it was a great pleasure to share it on a regular basis.  One of my colleagues asked me whether I got bored of delivering the same programme every other week.  I replied that I would get bored of doing that but it wasn’t the same workshop at all – the delegates changed each time and so the workshop changed.

That’s a good rule of thumb for a trainer.  You can know your material, the points you want to make, the models you’re going to use and the order in which you’ll use them but you must never forget that introducing delegates into the room changes the dynamics of the workshop and will sometimes change the course of the material you deliver. The extent to which they change the course of the material will vary.  On some workshops, I’m effectively working with the delegates to “build” the workshop as we go along, taking what they give me and using my experience and knowledge to construct something that’s specifically tailored to their needs at that moment.

It’s great when those opportunities come along but mostly it’s not like that. There’s a workshop I deliver for one of my client companies that has remained essentially unchanged for the whole time that I’ve been working with them.  I’ve been delivering this workshop for seven years and I’ve reached the stage where I can do it in my sleep. I know where my marks are, I know what my analogies are – I even know what all my ad libs are and when I’m going to make all those little off the cuff quips. Believe me, it’s like I have a script: much like an audience at the theatre, all the delegates have to do is show up and enjoy the show.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this.  So long as, like the actors in a play, the trainer is putting on the best show he or she can, delivering the material to the best of their ability, then it’s perfectly fine.  The only potential downfall is that it can lead the trainer to become complacent. These types of workshops become run-of-the-mill for the trainer and we forget that, just because we’ve delivered the workshop fifty or sixty times, it’s still a new experience for the delegates, who are seeing it for the first and only time.  I had this experience recently, with this workshop.  As I was in the room, preparing for the day, I heard some delegates talking outside about how much they were looking forward to the workshop.  It reminded me that while this was just another workshop for me, for them it was the first training they’d had in ages and it was a special occasion.

It was a timely reminder that, no matter what you do or how many times you’ve done it, for your clients or customers it’s usually the first they’ve experienced it.  Making it special should be part of the job.

One Response

  1. Training

    Hiya

    Great article, as an IT trainer I felt I was reading it for my job role, I train some of my courses about 4 times a month, and I am very aware not to drone on with the course, but to make it fun and exciting and to give learners confidence in using the IT systems, I like learners to go away with a bit of a buzz and also talking about the next course they are aiming to take. 

    Each lesson I take I have a different group of learners each time, so yes totally agree I have a plan of my lesson but 9 times out of 10 it changes with the dynamics of the group, and sometimes the learners job roles of what is required for them.  But I feel this keeps me on my toes, and I can use the changes in future lessons, as examples and also planning. 

    Jaynie

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