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Training myths (the final part)


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to address some of the myths that surround training and development in the business context.  In case you drifted off and weren’t paying attention at any point (I know, it happens) the three myths are:

  • training is an end in and of itself
  • training is all about the quality of the trainer
  • training workshops are the most important part of training

They’re common myths and they’re seductive - so seductive, in fact, that it’s not just clients who are prone to believe them: some trainers do, too.  But the consequences of these myths are to reduce the status of training and development from being a partner in the success of a business into a more expensive version of free coffee.  Nice to have if you can afford it, but the first thing to get cut when times are hard and budgets need to be reduced.  

Each of these myths creates a condition that makes it almost impossible for training and development to make a real difference.  To counter them won’t be easy: it requires a change in mindset in both trainer and commissioner, a shift in the relationship between consultant and client into one of true partnership.  It may be difficult but it’s not impossible because, after all, we both want the same thing.

I don’t do this job because I’m lonely or because I have nothing better to do: I do it, in common with a lot of other trainers and facilitators, because I want to help people, I want to make their lives a little bit easier in some way.  Nothing frustrates me more than these three myths because it takes the effort that trainers and facilitators put into their work and wastes it, along with the time, effort and energy of the delegates involved.

I began this series by speculating on your reasons for reading this blog.  Although I don’t know why you’re reading it, I do know why I’m writing it.  I’d like to put an end to these myths so that trainers and businesses can deal with the world the way it is, not as they would want it to be.  Let’s get real or let’s not play: this year, let’s not buy into those training myths.  This year, let’s make sure that the training we do is training that people need and can use.  This year, let’s help them use it; encourage them and reward them when they do. This year, let’s make sure there’s an actual point to the training and that it’s rooted fairly and squarely in the real world.  Or let’s not play.

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