“That was the best training experience!”
It’s the best form of flattery a trainer can hear from their participants. There are several factors that make a participant’s experience the most effective and therefore, the best. A meetings expert at The National Conference Center and a seasoned trainer of over 20 years, Joni Mamana offers trainers advice on… how to produce a productive and effective training program:
Student’s personalities and behaviors are very important on Monday morning.
Mamana sets up the expectations for her students. “What we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it to get through the week. In order for a class to be successful, trainers should lay the ground rules,” she explains. No one is allowed to be late in Mamana’s training sessions. Mamana explains, “By setting the expectations, it equalizes everyone and no one is better here than anyone else – even if he or she made their sales quota.” She believes it’s inappropriate for trainers to have “favorites,” a buddy or to grab drinks with students. Trainers should make a point to treat everyone equally. Attendees appreciate a trainer who has control and doesn’t let anyone overpower the class with their point of view. Read Mamana’s method to setting expectations for a successful training program.
Don’t give up on difficult students!
A student in Mamana’s class was completing a course of management styles. However, the student was continuously tardy to the training session and repeatedly left the class to accept personal calls. Mamana took the student aside mid-week to discuss how she could arrange the individual’s flight back to the office since she didn’t have an interest in the class. The woman apologized profusely and said she would take the class serious. As a result the one-on-one discussion, the student arrived early the remainder of the week and thanked Mamana at the end of training for all she had gotten out of the experience. Trainers, follow up on the students who don’t have passion or interest in the class. “Lost” students need help finding the answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?” Find out how to answer “What’s in it for me?” before training begins.
Make training intimate and personal.
If people do the same thing, the same way everyday and expect different results, it’s not going to happen, ” explains Mamana who focused on how the students could change their behavior and apply it to their employees. Using DISC (Dominant, Independent, Steady and Compliant) training exercises, students would take a test to understand their management style. The difference was Mamana would bring the results back to class so she could the results with them, making the class more intimate and personal. She also asked managers to bring an object to class that reminded them of what being a manager was about; Mamana says, “Participants loved this exercise and took it very seriously.” When training is intimate and personal, students are able to apply it to their own lives which means the training was effective.
But, Mamana says the two key factors that must be in place before practicing any of this advice is a.) to create an environment where learning can take place and b.) the students must have trust in their trainer. “As a trainer, I would immerse myself in whatever company I was going to be training and learn as much as I could about the company,” explains Mamana. She says independent trainers should learn so much about the company they’re contracted to train that students even believe you are with the company. Do you currently follow these rules? What do you find is most effective in training classes?