Overcoming Unconscious Incompetence

This post is for those trainers who have not attended train-the-trainer programs. I was one of those people who didn’t know that there really is a trainer’s profession  that’s back at its core is by principles, theory, and sound practices. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. We call that in the learning community, unconscious incompetence.

It’s More Than Just Sharing What You Know

In my over 20 years in the training field, there is a common theme that surfaces in every train-the-trainer course that I’ve attended and delivered which is, . ”Wow! I realized that there is a lot more to training than sharing what you know.” This one a-ha moment from a participant in the last train-the-trainer course that I delivered summed it up excellently after the first of three sessions in the program…

”Wow! I realized that there is a lot more to training than sharing what you know.”

Thatis one statement proves why anyone with the trainer title owes it to themselves to invest in formal training because you don’t know what you don’t know!

Knowledge Check

How do you know that you need to be formally trained as a trainer to perform at your best? I’ll make it easy for you. Answer True or False to the statements below.

1)      I’m training them, if I share what I know with others, I’m training them.

2)      I’m training them, if I create a PowerPoint to share what I know, I’m training them.

3)      I’m training them, if I create a Facebook live, Periscope, webinar, or another video platform, I’m training them.

4)      I’m training them, if I give them a free download, I’m training them.

5)      I’m training them, if I do a few activities while I’m sharing my expertise, I’m training them.

Answer Key

All statements above are FALSE. Just sharing your knowledge and expertise with someone is called a briefing, presentation, or demonstration. It can provide valuable information, but you probably shouldn’t call it training. Training is a combination of presentation, application, and feedback. Effective training has the right content, structure, materials, and delivery methods.

The Unfortunate Reality

The unfortunate reality is because there are so many people who have not been formally trained in the principles of adult learning, instructional design, delivery techniques. As a result, the training they are conducting that is not instructionally sound. Many trainers are great presenters and create passive learning experiences, but are not delivering training that leads to actionable results and maximizes engagement. It’s a fact that adults learn best by interaction with others and getting involved in the learning process.If the majority of the training is not instructionally sound, when you get a trainer that intuitively is a great presenter, we think that the training was effective.

Please don’t be fooled into thinking that someone who is a dynamic speaker is an amazing trainer. The two are not the same. If you are wooed by their charisma and excellent presentation skills but haven’t learned much to improve your performance or behavior…it probably wasn’t good training.

Change Your Reality

Many people who attend my train-the-trainer training are surprised at the difference between the training that they have previously attended and the learning events that I conduct. It’s not that I’m bragging because anyone can learn to be an extraordinary trainer. The reality is that it takes skills to become an extraordinary trainer. Most of the skills are applied before you step one foot in the classroom and occur during the design process which many trainers who lack formal training, don’t know.

Building those skills is what happens when trainers are formally trained. Think of it like this…Teachers are all subject-matter experts, but they all formally trained and certified to be a teacher. B…being a trainer is no different. We’ve just accepted great presenters or speakers as great trainers. Upgrading your skills is essential to stay on top of your game.

Let’s Put an End to the Incompetence

Please get formal training to become a professional trainer. Even if you don’t attend The Extraordinary Learning Academy is that I created just for those professionals who want to be effective trainers, please get formal training if you are a trainer. You owe it to yourself and those who attend your training to invest in your development…

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