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Training the Trainer: 5 Basics

Training the Trainer: 5 Basics

At Say Leadership Coaching (SLC) we concentrate our efforts on just that which our name implies; coaching the leadership in companies to reach their greater potential. Executives are but one group we work with; there are leaders at every level of a company’s official org chart, and we find that titles can be irrelevant when it comes to discovering leadership talent.

Once we discover leadership talent, one of our objectives is to get that person more “broadcast air time” in their company, so that they’ll get increasing comfortable with sharing their ideas.

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In my article here last week, I stated: “All managers must be able to coach, however sometimes their best tactic in the beginning of the learning process is having someone else do the initial teaching.” This week, I’d like to offer you some suggestions on where to improve upon the training that all your managers will do in-house, and for the sake of their own credibility as managers and as emerging leaders.

Why?

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Great Managers develop their own training skills and style, and in doing so, they simultaneous develop a stage presence which either adds to their credibility, or will unfortunately detract from it. When you train, your demeanor, this ‘stage presence’ gives your audience a clear message on both your command of the subject, and your confidence. This is pretty significant when your ‘audience’ is composed entirely of your staff.

‘Train the Trainer” classes rank up there with the most frequently requested curriculum assistance our customers seek, and it’s a win-win for us both. We at SLC eventually go away; by design we help train the in-house trainers (yep, those are the Great Managers becoming Great Leaders) who will seize our Managing with Aloha curriculum as their own, continually re-train it, and in doing so “kaizen it” into the sustainable culture of the organization.

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These are five basic ways you can help “Train the Trainer” in your own company;

  • Deal with stage fright by giving them early wins; ask them to make presentations to staff groupings on their strengths and on what they do exceptionally well first. Allow them to feel the thrill of being the expert. A huge part of confidence-building is being able to draw on past experience when fielding questions, and unlike those mixed-audience conferences to send them to, your in-company staff will not be shy or hesitant with asking pointed questions.
  • Start small and internal, then successively progress to bigger and external. Network broadcasters largely started in their home towns on the local news or morning radio show before they made it to the big time. Same strategy applies to getting emerging managers and leaders on stage in a company.
  • Start a company practice which reserves the last five minutes of every presentation for immediate feedback your trainers can learn from. Hand out a one-page sheet where you ask the staff in attendance just two questions, getting their responses in writing. First, “What are the top two or three take-aways you’ve gained from this session?” Second, “Is there anything we talked about that you’d like more clarity or discussion time with in the future?” Essentially this will help the trainer see where he or she succeeded or may have fallen short with the message to be delivered. The bonus is that they can also follow-up on those expectations as managers.
  • Video their presentations for them. Immediately pop out the tape and hand it to them for their own viewing later and in private; you will be amazed at what they will continually improve upon in their own performance without a word of coaching from you!
  • Require your Trainers to catalog their curriculum, and journal both their process in developing it, and their own feelings in what worked for them and what didn’t. The catalog will help them continually refine their subject matter. With the journaling, they will begin to see patterns in when they achieve flow in presenting, and when they don’t. Some people need extensive facilitation guides to help them, others do best ad-libbing to the right set of 3×5 index cards which trigger their story-telling style. There is presenting style akin to the existence of ‘management style’ and they will discover what training techniques work for them and which don’t.

A sixth, bonus suggestion for you; Get all your Trainers together in mastermind groupings which meet on a regular basis. Have them assemble with those curriculum catalogs (think of these as the intellectual property you share!) and personal presentation journals to share their lessons learned, and gain support and new ideas from each other. Partner with your local Toastmasters/Toastmistress chapter so your Trainers continually learn from others, and can practice in another forum.

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By the way, you can use these same tips for every person who conducts meetings, for after all, meetings are just another kind of ‘presentation,’ and if you treat them as a class, everyone will leave the meeting feeling they learned something and didn’t just waste their time.

Related Articles:

Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business. She fervently believes that work can inspire, and that great managers and leaders can change our lives for the better. Her index of past articles written for Lifehack.org can be found in the left column of this page. You can also visit her on www.managingwithaloha.com.

More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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