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Frances Ferguson

Glasstap Ltd

Training Design Manager

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So what is it that you do exactly?


This is a question we probably all get asked pretty regularly & I always find it fascinating to hear what answer people give.

When you are asked, do you focus on who you work for? Do you just give your job title? Do you talk about your typical working day? Or do you talk about what you actually achieve through your job?

It's a question I am sure we have all heard asked countless times in training & when it is, it is safe to say most people stick to job title & employer and not much else. Why is this? Is it that people are too modest to say what they contribute to their organisations? Or is it that too often people don't know?

I remember being asked the question by my young daughter a few years ago & after describing the sort of work I did, she looked at me with what can only be described as breathless wonder & said:

"Wow Mummy, so you get paid to talk all day, cool!"

Once I had finished giggling at her giddy response, I started thinking. Was I really paid to talk all day? Would that attitude make me a great trainer? Or was I only going to be fantastic at my job if I was instead paid to get people thinking & acting on those thoughts?

I was reminded of this experience when I was analysing the results of my survey on What Makes for Great Training. The first question was:

"What are the top 5 attributes of a great training professional?"

The respondents picked from 12 options (a mix of 'traditional' skills linked to the Training Cycle & leadership skills). We had 225 replies; look what made up the top 4:

  1. Credibility
  2. Inspiring
  3. Listening
  4. Empowers others

What does this tell us about what it takes to be a great training professional? More importantly, what does it tell us about what we can achieve when we are doing a great job?

Personally speaking, I think that this is a truly awe-inspiring list to aim for.

It shows us that people who really succeed in our chosen profession do so not because of what they know, but rather what they do with that knowledge.

These people have the wow factor because they focus on their ability to influence & inspire. They know that any training that is designed to simply 'feast' on the knowledge of the person at the front of the room, is not good enough; like eating a bar of chocolate, it is a quick way to beat the hunger pangs, but it won't sustain you for long.

Great training professionals are the ones that understand it is not about them. They know it is about the journey of everyone in the room & that this journey does not stop when they leave the room. 

Any training, is simply the start of the adventure; great training helps you map your path & inspires you to take the steps along the way.

Author Profile Picture
Frances Ferguson

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

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