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Evaluate the Trainer Before Committing to the Next One

Tips for Evaluating Your Next Trainer

Most organizations provide professional development and supplemental training for management and leadership (and hopefully employees).

In my line of work, I’m oftentimes called upon to assess or appraise such events.

In essence, I’m there to evaluate the trainer. My oh my, it can be such an interesting process! Not only are we evaluating the effectiveness of the training program, but we’re determining the long-term strategic value. Such training programs can be quite costly.

As many of us have experienced, it’s not uncommon to participate in a program and then walk away feeling like we’re now behind in work and just lost another day (or several days). Some are completely useless. Not only has it wasted attendee’s day, but it’s wasted a big chunk of change from the annual budget.

However, when we find a training program that is truly effective (and proves to provide long-term value, insomuch as a really good ROI), they can be worth their weight in gold.

The intent of such training programs is to implement what we’ve learned. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a good one yet, the following are some considerations to help identify a good program (or a trainer that is prepared to deliver the help you need; to ensure the ROI you deserve).

  • Identify individual readiness: if any  direct report isn’t ready yet, the effort will be a complete waste
  • Be sure the training is tailored to individual needs: this means we need to take the time to identify what each of our direct report’s needs
  • Avoid focusing on training that a direct report doesn’t actually need: this means that we’ve taken the time to really get to know each direct report as a human being
  • Be sure that there is focus on delivering skillful feedback: heavy-handed feedback and be distressing and as a result, we will immediately lose his or her attention
  • Focus on self-directed change: make sure each direct report has developed her own goals. She will be far more engaged and way more likely to continue practicing the new change
  • Make sure they are providing models. This means that we need to master the art of emotional intelligence, too

We only learn to the degree that we are motivated. This means that prior to any attempt to teach any new concept, such as emotional intelligence, we’ve been consistently and effectively motivating and encouraging interest.