6 Apr 2007
Training Skills - Do you Have the Skills to be a Good Trainer?
What are the necessary skills to be a good trainer?
At Silicon Beach Training we provide a train the trainer course to teach you the skills you need to become a great trainer. However, if you think you already have what it takes - try this 10-point self-assessment!
- Actively listen without interrupting?
- Be flexible and responsive?
- Sense the mood of the group and work with it?
- Challenge underlying tensions or hidden feelings and bring them to the surface?
- Provide an atmosphere conducive to learning?
- Maintain control and direction and steer the group in a positive way?
- Involve all members of the group both outgoing and shy?
- Validate what group members say, support and encourage them?
- Deal constructively with difficult or disruptive group members?
- Use questioning and probing techniques effectively?
These are just some of the more subtle aspects in which an effective trainer needs to be proficient.
REMEMBER- training is a skilled process, it can look easy but it isn't! Trying to facilitate a group in the same way as chairing a meeting will not have the desired result and can cause many more problems than it solves!
Active listening is the key skill for a trainer.
You probably already know this (but sometimes it helps to be reminded!): Listening is very different from hearing. When we hear, the information may flow through our ears without really registering in the brain.
Listening has at least three different stages: hearing, interpreting, and recalling.
- Hearing: the physical action of the sound on our ear
- Interpreting: interpreting the message from the words that we hear, the tone and inflection of the voice, as well as the person's facial expressions and body movements. We also make interpretations dependent upon our own experiences in life.
- Recalling: registering the message and recalling it later in the conversation.
Active listening involves all three of these processes and means you need to:
- Give your complete attention to the other person or people for a specific period of time
- Forget any preoccupations you may have
- Suspend your judgement about what they are saying
- Listen to the feeling behind the words and reflect it to the group using phrases like; "it sounds as if you are very angry about that, is that right?"
- Listen to the silence and what it means; is it a comfortable or an angry silence?
- Watch for any non-verbal clues from group members; they will help let you know when someone is disinterested, shy, anxious, domineering, bored, angry, or open etc.