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TRAIN THE TRAINER


DO TRAINERS NEED TO


KNOW THEIR SUBJECT?


Janet Webb offers a steadying hand It’s a question of balance, and h


ere’s one for you – does a trainer need to be experienced in the field in


which they’re training? Tere are a couple of schools of thought on this: 1. if you are good at training, you can train anything


2. you can only train on a subject in which you have expertise.


I was recently invited, on the basis of my CV, to join a national training company as an associate trainer. Te set-up was not complex. I would tell them my availability, they would book me for courses and send me all the materials. I would go to the venue and deliver their course, their way. Simple. I was to stick to the script and


not deviate from the course they had designed. Tis is understandable since they can’t control the quality of what I do off the cuff. Remember, they have never seen me in action.


Also, if I covered a whole swathe of material that wasn’t part of the course, this could cause an issue for future courses. I completely understood. Except there was something that


didn’t sit well with me. For whom had these courses been designed? Answer – generic delegates. How- ever, the people in the room are not generic delegates; they are individual people with real experiences, past and current. Teir specific questions and perspectives aren’t dealt with through a generic course. Tey are not allowed to explore their own needs or manage their own learning. In effect, they’re not allowed to bring themselves to the training. And neither is the trainer.


Find your balance


Tightrope walkers use a long balancing pole to help them remain on the wire. Te longer the pole, the steadier they


38 | October 2016 |


@TrainingJournal


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