When measuring the success of your employees and their work, it can’t be underestimated how important their leadership is. Someone who has all the qualities of a good trainer is far more critical to your team than any other process you can put into place to achieve your objectives. How do you know if you have those qualities or what to improve upon as your company’s trainer?
Communication Qualities of a Good Trainer
Training is all about ensuring that information doesn’t just go in one ear and out the other. For effective training, communication must lead to action. That requires a special knack for excellent communication. As the trainer, you want to ensure that the knowledge you’re sharing is retained, that it can be immediately put into action on the job, and that every employee fully understands each aspect of the training.
You also want to make sure that enthusiasm and positivity are communicated during the training. This helps engage your employees, which leads to better retention. How do you improve your communication so that it accomplishes all of this at once?
One great tip is to improve your listening skills. Instead of preparing hours of training material, prepare just enough to convey the point and open the floor for questions. When you engage your employees in communication, you’ll find them more eager to put your training into action.
Creative Thinking is Important
Another one of the essential qualities of a good trainer is creative thinking. When you train a group of people, you’ll quickly realize that not everyone learns the same way. You may have prepared a lot of visual and audio material to get your point across – only to find that half your audience learns best by doing. In these instances, you’ll need to quickly come up with a creative solution to ensure that the training is successful.
Another common scenario in training is that the audience may have more, or less, experience than you were expecting with the topic. In this case, you will need to be able to creatively adapt your material to the present skill level.
Being open to change and willing to adapt in the moment are the two keys to creative thinking qualities of a good trainer. You don’t need to be a great performer to deliver your training in a creative way.
Assess the Trainee’s Needs at Each Step
Another excellent quality to have if you are a trainer is the ability to assess the needs of the trainee. Not every trainee needs the same thing. Some require a quick refresher and some examples to practice with, while others need you to train slowly and methodically. Some appreciate words of encouragement during training, while others appreciate a humorous delivery that breaks up the monotony of training. Being able to watch the audience’s reactions and quickly assess their needs in the moment is an important skill to develop as a trainer.
Some of the ways you can improve this skill include conducting surveys after your training events or watching the performance trends of teams after one of your training events. Suppose you delivered a very matter-of-fact presentation with mostly visual learning aids, and your team’s performance didn’t increase. In that case, you’ll know that you need to offer different training methods next time.
Surveys can be an excellent way to increase your ability to assess audience needs. As you improve your training skills, you can analyze the trends you see in survey answers. Watch for comments on your delivery, your ability to explain things clearly, and how engaging you are as a trainer.
Great Trainers Know the Business
It stands to reason that one of the qualities of a good trainer is that they know what they are talking about. It’s vital that you don’t just know the industry but that you’re an expert in what you’re training. Not only should you understand every detail of what you are teaching, but you should also be immersed in the latest developments and best practices for this topic.
Without this in-depth understanding, a trainer can’t give the best context for why a piece of information is so important or how to best implement a new practice. It is the trainer’s responsibility to make sure that the employees are getting the best information. Putting in the time to continue your education will set you apart from other trainers.
The Collaboration Qualities of Good Trainers
Another critical skill to develop as a trainer is the ability to collaborate with a team. Training isn’t always a one-person show. When you have a large group that needs to be trained, it’s often a great idea to collaborate with Human Resources, the team’s existing managers, and the company’s executive-level leaders to ensure that every objective for the training is being addressed.
The secret to being a good collaborator is to be a great listener who aims to connect the dots between ideas. Work on being diplomatic and building relationships rather than on displaying your knowledge or expertise. The more questions you can ask about what other collaborators bring to the table, the better the training course will be.
The best collaborators are project-focused, keeping an eye on how the training course or event is shaping up rather than focusing on how their individual efforts are performing. This “big picture” thinking is one of the more essential qualities that a good trainer can possess.
Transitioning from Good Trainer to Great Trainer
You don’t have to be an extroverted comedian to keep your team interested and engaged with your training sessions. The qualities of a good trainer are excellent communication, creative thinking, being open to assessing the needs of the audience, being immersed in expert industry knowledge, and being a good collaborator.
When these qualities are brought to the table, a “good” trainer can quickly become a great trainer. When you develop these skills, you move beyond presenting information in an acceptable way to truly inspiring action.