No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Training for Trainers – online workshop report


Report on the TrainingZONE online workshop held here on 5 April 2000 focusing on Training for Trainers:-

Tim Pickles: I thought we should start by looking at the routes by which people develop their training skills. How did you get to learn your present skills?

Florence Grant: I attended training the Trainer classes. Plus practice, Lots of practice.

Ken Hare: The skills I currently use in my job were learned on-the-job. I do a few classes, too.

Kate Anderson: In my case, in at the deep end at work, followed by a short course, then CTP

George Reavis: Pretty much classes and practice here also

David W James: Hi I collected mine thru' training with Whitbread and then with Coverdale, who I work for

Tim Pickles: Lots of people pick up the skills 'as they go along', but where does this leave the theoretical approach; what sort of underpinning knowledge does the training approach then rely on?

Florence Grant: Mostly on 'what works'.

Kate Anderson: Or what has worked for us as individual learners in the past perhaps?

David W James: David James - I guess it's down to the person to keep up to date with what's current thinking and pratcice and try things out

Ken Hare: Also modifying what hasn't worked for someone in the past.

Florence Grant: All of the above.

Tim Pickles: Does that tend to mean that trainers fall back on instructional techniques, rather than experiential ones, because that is what they have seen previously

Ken Hare: My group would not be happy to know they were part of an experiment.

Florence Grant: NO, it means that an experiment may be tried, but if it doesn't result in learning, it may be discarded. ( It should be reflected upon first to decide why it didn't work.)

Florence Grant: Each group is different and it depends on their needs, wants and expections.

Tim Pickles: I was acta

Tim Pickles: I was actually referring to experiential learning rather than experimental learning i.e. the notion that people can learn a lot from their past experience if given teh chance to reflect and make sense of it.

Kate Anderson: I thought Tim was referring to the distinction between 'chalk and talk' , and more active, experiential learning

Tim Pickles: I was

Tim Pickles: I suppose my question is still, where does our model of how to train actually come from?

Kate Anderson: I probably rely too much on experiential approaches, simply because of good experiences in those learning environments as a learner

Florence Grant: I probably rely too much on a cross between lecture and experience, because of the academic backgraound and experience.

Tim Pickles: So what would you regard as the top three skills which trainers need?

David W James: If skill is to be developed then practice is essential and I thing this means experiential

Ken Hare: skill in identifying, skill in presenting, skill in evaluating

Florence Grant: Self confidence and Understanding would be high on the list.

David W James: Listening, observation and design skills are tops for me

Tim Pickles: I came into training from a groupwork background - and find that I still relyheavily on my groupskills.

Florence Grant: Listening and observation I count as part of understanding.

David W James: I came into it from a company that relied on teamworking as a key part of the culture

Kate Anderson: The word I use often with the traininers I train is 'empathy' : putting yourself in the learners shoes throughout the design, delivery and evaluation process

Florence Grant: I agree with Kate.

David W James: I agree with Kate as well

Tim Pickles: empathy points to some of the cross-overs with counselling and communications skills training

David W James: Ken's point about evaluating is important I think - knowing what behaviours you expect and setting indicators for them

David W James: I think empathy is wider than the that,Tim

Florence Grant: But you also have to know your subject so well that open sessions with questions and answers are OK.

Tim Pickles: yes it is, and the point is made about finding out where the learner is coming from.

David W James: I agree

Tim Pickles: So I'm often being asked about the balance between being a content expert and a learning process 'expert' - any thoughts?

Florence Grant: The content has to be there, but conveyed in a way that enhances and encouages understanding and learning.

Ken Hare: I think as a leaning expert, it is important to let a student know what they already know - and to show how the new content relates to what they already know and what they need to know.

George Reavis: Content applies more to hard skills such as management where soft skills such as leadership favor the learning process

Florence Grant: What Ken is saying ties in with the method of conveying - knowing the people-how they learn.

Tim Pickles: Hi Sue, welcome - the current topic under discussion is the balance between content and process in the trainers role

David W James: I think there can be a risk of new trainers feeling de-skilled because they have the technical knowledge but are learning new "training" ones

Tim Pickles: Could you say more about your distinction between hard management skills and soft leadership ones, George - I'm not sure I quite agree there is a distinction

George Reavis: Teaching the learner to "ask" questions to get them involved to provide a maintenance in the learning process

David W James: I'm not sure I understand that, George

Florence Grant: I sometimes can get a small group to discuss or to talk about their experience, but I find it difficult to get my groups to ask questions.

Tim Pickles: By asking questions, the learner is engaged in reflection and exploration - is this what you mean about management training?

David W James: I sometimes find that setting a discussion topic will get things going,Florence

Tim Pickles: The asking questions aspect also relates to group skills - the trainers role in making participants feel comfortable and safe enough to engage at that level.

David W James: I agree

Florence Grant: That also depends on the learners' past experience with training classes

Ken Hare: Yes, and combines it with how a class is currently running.

Tim Pickles: Yes - for me one of the fundamental skills is about creating that safety in the learning environment

David W James: It is about setting the right learning environment I think

Florence Grant: Yes and one aspect of that is the agreeing of confidentiality and other 'rules' that help the comfort level.

Kate Anderson: Do you not find that the 'rule setting' can in itself make people uneasy, Florence? It is something I wrestle with quite a lot

Tim Pickles: Being engaged in learning is 'risky' for many participants - they are having to expose their lack of knowledge/skill and open themselves up to something new, which can be scary. Part of our role, surely, is to make this process as comfortable as possible.

Ken Hare: Yes, and that can be structured or designed in with the content.

Florence Grant: It is related to the attitude of the participants and how you 'read' them to decide the balance between rules and openness, etc.

David W James: I ask the group to set working rules for how they want to operate and help them work to them

Florence Grant: that is a good compromise David

David W James: I think the principal is to involve the group in decisions that affect it

Tim Pickles: Hi - thought I would introduce myself, having been listening in. I'm Stephanie, the new News Editor. I'm finding this very interesting. in terms of the process of training the trainer, would anyone recommend a tailored training course, or is mentoring something which works?

Tim Pickles: Hi Kate. I'm keeping the seat warm for Tim while he busys himself on the stand.

Florence Grant: A well run training course has an element of mentoring init.

Ken Hare: Mentoring certainly would be a quick way to find a course that closely matched your requirements.

Tim Pickles: Presumably you need to update your skills in delivering training over time? What's a good way of doing this?

Ken Hare: College courses for hardware kind of things; professional groups for presentation things, perhaps

Florence Grant: Yes you need to update your skills. This online CPD is one way. Working with groups is another.

Kate Anderson: Networking in all its various guises. Observing your peers in action. Regular sweeps through journals etc.

David W James: One way is to ask someone to observe you delivering and receive feedback - on a quid pro quo basis maybe

George Reavis: Working with groups to find out what works

Kate Anderson: I co-train a fair bit which is incredibly valuable in this respect

Ken Hare: Do you always co-train with the samp person - or people, Kate?

George Reavis: Good point on feedback. Teaching the trainer or in my case the team leaders how to get their own feedback as well

Kate Anderson: No it varies.

Ken Hare: I think that the chance to go out and train with different people as Kate does would work well in exposing her to different techniques.

Florence Grant: It certainly is an advantage to someone who is observant and sensitive to techniques and reactions.

Tim Pickles: So those are maybe the ways of both developing and building on your skills as a trainer. It's time for Tim and I to go, we've got lots of people visiting the site now. It's been good making contact, hope to speak to some of you this way again soon. Thanks all for taking part.

George Reavis: Thank you

Florence Grant: Thank you Tim for your time and insite.

Kate Anderson: Thanks a lot


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!