By Jacqueline Sirota
Have you ever wondered what makes for a winning trainer/instructor? Successful professional trainers and instructors share many common characteristics.
Professional trainers and instructors must have a thorough understanding of their subject matter and be able to convey their knowledge and expertise in a clear and straightforward manner. As a result of their solid understanding, professional trainers can develop materials that suit their learners’ level of knowledge and expertise.
Effective trainers are always prepared. There is no substitution for having a solid foundation of the subject matter being taught. In addition, preparation also includes skill in training methods and strategies. It’s the instructor’s responsibility to provide a rich environment to facilitate learning. Learners can spot an unprepared instructor and quickly lose confidence in that person; when this happens, the quality of the learning experience is lessened.
Competent training professionals understand that they must always begin by conducting a comprehensive needs analysis to determine their learners’ skills and knowledge requirements. In workplace learning programs, it’s important to note that training must include the skills and knowledge needed to perform employees’ jobs efficiently.
Professional instructors show concern and interest in their highly motivated adult learners. They’re knowledgeable about adult learning theories and understand that adult learners want to apply new skills immediately. Thus, a capable training professional will organize and conduct engaging learning activities so adults will learn what they need and be able to apply their new "real-world" knowledge/skills right away.
Effective training professionals encourage their adult learners to participate and share their knowledge and insights in the instructional process. While the instructor is a resource of knowledge and skills, participants are also a source of knowledge and experience; they can learn as much from their peers as they do from the instructor!
As you can see, successful professional trainers and instructors share many common characteristics. The next time you’re asked to develop and conduct a learning program, be sure your trainer has these skills.
Jacqueline Sirota, president/CEO of Jacqueline Sirota Learning x Technology Solutions, Inc., is a learning consultant who can help assess organization learning needs and develop and deliver customized learning programs. Learn more at www.jacquelinesirota.com.