Today I got an interesting call from my boss. I am going to become an assessor for other trainers at Nokia Siemens Networks. This means that I will have to assess the training capabilities of my peers.
Since I have been a respectable trainer for the past 5 years I have indeed accumulated a good experience.
I feel very proud that my efforts are rewarded with this opportunity.
Assessing the training capabilities means that I will have to make sure that the training mix of our trainers are going the right way for a maximum customer satisfaction and a maximum efficiency.
Training is a difficult job for many reasons.
– Adapting to very different cultures and habits, or even timing. Training in Spain, in the US, in Finland or in Egypt means adapting to the way people start their day, eat lunch, when they are the most effective. Unfortunately with short 5 day trainings this means that I have to trust some of the stereotypes and make some assumptions.
As an example, here is a typical day as I experienced it in Madrid, Spain:
Training starts at 8:30. At 10:30 we have a 30 minutes break for breakfast… then we go on with the course until 14:00 and we have a lunch break. Then the trainees disapeared. Some went for a siesta…
Training starts at 9:00 but everyone is there at 8:50 and usually asking if we can start earlier. Lunch is between 11:00 and 12:00. End of the day at 16:00 but if we can finish earlier at 15:00 then would be happier.
First of all the week starts on Sunday. In Cairo, the traffic is so bad and public transport are almost non-existentat the time I am writing this that we need to leave from hotels and go to the training center around 7:50 to be there at 8:45 and get ready to start at 9:00. The lunch break can be anywhere between 12:00 and 14:30 for an hour. Our training center was far away from everything so we needed to order food for delivery and with the traffic, anything goes… It’s tough to keep the class happy in these conditions! But we need to stay positive 🙂
– Then trainers usually need to adapt to many ways of learning:
Visual learners, show it to me! I need written material, keywords on the whiteboard, I want visuals, ask me to the be the scribe of the group.
Auditory learners, tell me! Explain that concept to me, ask me to describe it with my own words,
Kinesthesic learners, prove it to me! Demonstrate how this principle works, let me practice the technique, I need hands-on, real life situations, I need to be involved physically.
Providing a mix of those is important in order to make sure you can reach out to all the different types of learners.
In that sense Confusius is a bit wrong when he says:
"Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand!" He just described HIS way of learning.
– Another thing that trainers need to adapt to is the general type of persons.
The know it all
The late comer
My job for these assignment will be to qualify or report what needs to be done by our trainers in order to get better at delivering our training in the best possible way, without turning them off and also keeping in mind that if there are many types of trainees, there are many types of trainers as well…