One of the most memorable quotes that I heard from a trainer came from a man I knew named Rizal:
“As trainees, you are supposed to interrupt me if you don’t understand something. You are supposed to ask questions. But you are not to go ahead of where we are in the class. All of the sections will be covered in due time.”
As a trainee, I could not have agreed more with Rizal. He made an impact on me. He was one of the best trainers I have ever known. What made him a great trainer was that he loved his career. (Notice I didn’t say job.) I knew he viewed his classroom as more than just a place to go to work everyday.
As a trainer, what are YOU doing to enhance the spirit of your trainees?
One great tactic that worked for me happened when I was a restaurant manager. When I would train employees, I would purposely ask them questions that were contradictory. For example, I would ask, “This order is to go, right?” When the trainees answered yes or no, I always asked them why they gave their answer. I wanted them to discover for themselves what should and should not be.
The tactic worked because they learned to rely and trust their own reasoning. Their productivity rose as a result. They were empowered to decide what actions needed to be done, and they took the necessary steps that generated results.
Are you letting your trainees know that you are open to ALL questions? Are you asking yourself what you need to do to ask great questions? Are you wondering how you can get your trainees to be comfortable with you so they can get the most of their training?
Here’s Some Steps To Show You How:
1. Be up front with your trainees. Let them know that there is NO such thing as a dumb question and that the ONLY stupid questions are the ones not asked.
2. Tell them that they can discuss questions offline if they are not comfortable asking a question in front of others.
3. If someone asks a great question, acknowledge him or her right away.
4. If a trainee asks a question which emits discontent among other trainees, let the classroom know that they are in class to learn and that even the most seemingly silly question could help reinforce answers to other questions. Remind them that no one knows everything, and the moment they stop learning, is the moment they stop growing.
Great trainers are great because they listen. They know that the material they are teaching is new to each person in the room, and they take their time making sure that every person understands it. They have patience and persistence. They are grateful for being able to make a difference in the lives of the people they train. Inside of you is the same greatness. Use it to empower your trainees.