Previously, I posted How NOT To Train. Today, I’ll share what to consider before the training begins.

·Who should participate in the training? You must be comfortable with the size and diversity of the group. Sometimes, it may be more effective to break into sub-groups.

·Where will the training be conducted? The facility must be clean, quiet, and suitable for training, with white boards or technology as needed.

·When will the training be held? Consider the best times for training to reduce work production interference.

·How long is the training? Think about how much time is needed to share the information without losing the trainees’ interest.

·What are the expectations? Begin by sharing expectations including note taking, participation, quizzes, and asking questions.

Do You Want Questions? The Answer Should Be… “Yes!”

Questions are not an interruption or delay — they’re information. Tell the trainees you want questions.

·Explain there’s no such thing as a dumb question. The only dumb question is the one not asked. Tell them if they’re unsure, they should ask.

·Promise not to show impatience through body language, tone of voice, or your words. The first time you project annoyance—or sound condescending when answering a question—the questions will stop.

·Let them know their questions offer valuable insight into their understanding and retention.

·Tell them it’s, “just us in the room,” so get over the fear of sounding dumb because they ask a question.

·Inform them you will check their understanding throughout the training by periodically asking, “Do you understand?” If they say yes, you’ll follow up with, “Great, explain it to the group.”

A trainee may ask a question that is ahead of schedule; in other words, you’re on page 5, and they’re on page 15. Establish a parking lot of questions, which will be covered in time. Let them know not to feel put off if their question goes to the parking lot because the question indicates they’re listenning, and they’re thinking.

Participation

Let the trainees know you expect everyone to participate. Encourage participation by calling on everyone. Participation includes staying focused and in the moment. Explain, occasionally, everyone losses focus; it’s okay to ask for a do-over. Let them know if you catch them drifting off, they should expect to be called upon — it’s less embarrassing to ask for clarification.

Note-Taking

Set the expectations by explaining the importance of note taking and follow-up by periodically checking your trainees’ notes. My friend, and Principle D.B., distributes an outline when facilitating any training session, meeting, or discussion. She follows up by MBWA (Managing By Wandering Around). Many companies, such as IBM, have encouraged managers to be “in” their department not in their office.

Set The Stage

·What do the trainees need to know before the session?

·What would enhance the training?

·Consider any information you may share before the training.

I think we’re ready to begin the training. In the next training blog, I’ll share a few outlines and specific training methods.