Bad Training, I Can't Take It Anymore!

Let me start by admitting that I’m uber critical about training effectiveness because I am passionate about what I do! I attended training a few days ago that did not meet my expectations.

Here’s my first episode of …Deadra, Please Rescue My Training!!!

It’s like when a doctor is the worst patient because they know how things should be done. I’m the same way about attending learning events.

First, let me let off a little steam. Ok, here’s my rant…

Why does everyone with expert knowledge of something, feel that they automatically qualify to be a trainer?

I’ve heard others say, “a two year old can do training!” That’s completely FALSE! It takes specialized knowledge and skills to be an effective trainer!

Yes, you can present information on an area of your expertise, but that doesn’t qualify you to be an effective trainer. I can’t think of any profession where people just call themselves something because they know something about a topic. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and all other professionals study, prepare, and have demonstrated mastery of skills to hold a credential... But, for some reason, people feel that they can be a “trainer” without requisite skills, not to mention hold credentials.

Read more about this MYTH in a future blog. The good news is that just like any other skills, you can learn to be an effective trainer. OK, I’m done with my rant!

Now, let me get back to the ineffective training that I attended a few days ago. I should mention I only stayed for 1 ½ hours of the one-day course (I would have left sooner, but there were no breaks until a participant asked for one…ugh! I didn’t want to be rude and just walk out.)

Here’s why it was ineffective…

It lacked effective DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, and DELIVERY! I had to put on my cape like my childhood idol Wonder Woman and reflect on how I would proceed if the “trainer” asked me…”Deadra, Please RESCUE MY TRAINING!

Here’s how I would’ve rescued the DESIGN with my magic lasso of truth. The truth is that I couldn’t possibly rescue the design without clear, behavioral-based, and measurable learning objectives. Imagine sitting in training and not having any idea of what you are supposed to know or be able to do after spending an entire day out of your very busy schedule.

Secondly, I would get to the bottom of the reason why there was no application or feedback except for the 45 minutes spent with participant introductions. It really doesn’t matter to me where people were born, nor what’s unique about them when I don’t even know how the training is going to benefit me (Remember, the principles of adult learning, ugh!) I would’ve liked to have an activity or two that tied to the learning objectives…oops, I forgot, there weren’t any.

Next, I would’ve rescued the DEVELOPMENT of the materials by throwing my tiara as a projectile to retrieve some white space to take notes. I had to write the couple of notes that I took on the cover of the handout, which we never touched or looked at during the 1 ½ that I attended. The handout didn’t really give me a clear path to guide me through the training. I will say that it looked nice, which is important to enhance the learning process.

I could’ve also thrown my tiara to retrieve a few visual aids other than the flip chart that he wrote on occasionally to tell his slightly off-topic stories. This “trainer” could’ve benefited from some additional visual aids like a few (not too many) PowerPoint slides that helped guide his content and help him stay on track.

Lastly, I would’ve rescued the “trainer’s” DELIVERY by shielding him from the glaring stares and head nodding with my indestructible bracelets. Although his tone and enthusiasm were great, maybe he should have spent more time setting the climate for learning rather than telling jokes that no one understood based on the looks of their faces. He really needed a well-designed facilitator guide to keep him focused and not jump around from topic to topic without any real focus.

I sure wish I could’ve rescued his training! If he had at least done a Training Check-Up, I can guarantee that the “trainer” would’ve at least known where he could improve the effectiveness of his training.

Taking it a step further, he could’ve taken advantage of one of my consulting packages, so that I could’ve coached him on how to improve his training.

Perhaps, he wouldn’t have wasted valuable time and energy on training that put people to sleep and didn’t accomplish his goal which was I’m certain was...LEARNING!

Stay tuned for another episode of Deadra, Please Rescue My Training!