In my last article I explored the five Ws about training someone.  This article expands on that by closely exploring the HOW to train someone.

Start with the Right Mindset

If you offer to train someone, don’t pretend or imply that you know everything about that subject.  Even if you know a lot, there is always more to learn and you should offer to help in a way that you are suggesting ideas and wanting to help them learn instead of telling them what to do.  Being humble with training is important to avoid you coming across as a “know it all”.  This can be especially true if you are teaching someone older than you or with more experience.

The attitude and mindset of wanting to help and teach someone else is what you want to portray, not the fact that you are smarter than them or know more than them.  That only leads to disrespect and makes the learning for less likely.

Prepare An Outline

To train someone something an outline can be a life saver for stepping them through a process and to guide you to stay on track.  You should create this BEFORE the training starts if you can and have it ready once you proceed.  Its helpful especially if you are not a natural learner since you may find it hard to stay on track or approach things in the right order.  Here are some things you might need to include in a typical training outline:

  • Answer the question of what is the area you are training and why?
  • Put some steps to learn this new thing onto paper (somewhere from 3-8 steps works best)
  • Ask yourself what questions might someone have and prepare answers ahead of time to present them.
  • If there is expected doubt or resistance to new training, explore ways to overcome that.
  • List sections or titles for each stage in your training to help guide you and categorize your sessions.

Consider What Your Audience Wants to Learn

Don’t assume that what you plan to train will be everything that your audience wants.  You don’t need to change your topics or main areas, but sometimes looking to tailor your training just a little bit to cover the important areas for your audience will make a HUGE difference.  This doesn’t matter whether you are providing one on one training or a huge seminar.  Ask people what they want to get out of it and look to cover some of those areas specifically.  If you consider the audience, they will be far more receptive and attentive since they will actually be looking for the area that they a re most interested in.

Involve Your Audience

It helps to keep your audience alert and involved with the training as much as possible.  This ensures that they are more attentive and keeps their mind active in the learning process.  Have them answer questions, repeat things aloud, do short tasks on paper, work in groups, answer simple quizzes or anything else that has them directly involved with the new material.  Involving them directly and making things more hands-on is far more effective since so many people learn best that way.

Follow Up and Reinforce the Learning

Once you finish with your training, make sure to follow up on it.  This doesn’t matter if you had providing a one time session or continual training, following up on the areas you covered from previous training is important to refresh it for yourself and your audience, and it allows you to see how much has actually been learned.  The point of training is not that you taught it, the point is that who you taught it to has actually learned it.

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