How Do You Know When it's Time to Train the Trainer?

Sometimes you get the sense that things aren’t quite clicking. Maybe learners are glancing at their phones more often. Or perhaps you’ve seen one too many stifled yawns to feel confident your approach is as captivating as it once was.

Paying attention to these signs and knowing when your training skills need a little boost can help make you a better trainer. But it’s not always easy. Even for seasoned pros, evaluating your own skills and techniques can be a considerable challenge. That’s why it’s useful to have some markers to pay attention to: signs in the road that can let you know now’s a good time to train the trainer.

A Big Shift in Your Work

Training-the-trainer can be a great way to maintain your footing when the world changes drastically around you. We all had a little experience with that when COVID-19 protocols ushered in a sudden new era of online and virtual training.

But this shift in your routine doesn’t need to be seismic to encourage the development of new skills. You might consider some additional training if:

  • You change jobs and start working for a new company.
  • The basic tasks of those you train changes in some fundamental way.
  • You start incorporating new material into your training.
  • Your training program role changes (maybe you move from leading a training session to a position more focused on instructional design).

You Get Some Feedback

When you’re a trainer, feedback can come in many forms. It’s important to listen to that feedback, though it may not always be immediately clear which lessons you should draw. For example, when participants indicate your delivery is a little dry, they may actually mean that you need to improve your PowerPoint skills (so they are better entertained). Some of the most valuable feedback can come from:

  • Learners: Isolated comments aren’t always useful or valid, but if you notice a trend in learner feedback, it’s worth following up with some training.
  • Peers: Sometimes you’ll train as a group or maybe one of your peers will observe your work. As other professional trainers, peers can be an exceptional resource for improving your skills.

You're Having a Hard Time With Technology

On a fairly regular basis, professional trainers will adopt new technologies and they’ll catch on like wildfire—usually for a reason. Webinars, for example, have proven to be incredibly effective training mediums.  

If you find yourself resisting this new tech and hanging onto your comfort zone—a little training could open up your world a little bit!

New training could include everything from the introduction of new software to the development of new instructional design techniques. While it may seem like some individuals are naturally inclined to use technology, the reality is that everyone has to learn how to use new tech, apps, and gadgets—and that’s what training is for.

You Aren't Quite Connecting With Participants

In many ways, training is about creating a connection; between you and participants and between participants and each other. Creating these connections is a skill like any other. So, when you notice that forging those connections doesn’t come quite as easily as it used to, refreshing those skills might be in order. This could occur for several reasons:

  • Participant expectations change! Training can help you identify those new expectations and work them into your instructional design.
  • Your skills get a little rusty. Training can help you dust off (and practice) those participant-centered training skills.
  • You want to take your skills to the next level. Even if you’re good at creating participant-centered training environments, you may want to be even better.

When In Doubt, Train!

Training is one of those rare elements that you can almost never get enough of. The right training program can help you sharpen your skills or learn brand new ones.

Just because you’re a professional trainer doesn’t mean that you don’t need a little training, too. With a focus on participant-centered methodologies and creative techniques, Train-the-Trainer Boot Camps can get you back in top form—fast.

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