June 17, 2014 | Leave a Comment
Before conducting leadership training, trainers spend countless hours analyzing needs assessment results. They also go through weeks of preparation that includes studying the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, creating a feasible work plan, planning and structuring the training modules, developing the training schedule and devising a tool for post-training evaluation. However, despite weeks and even months of preparation, many trainers tend to overlook a simple fact: their trainees are adult learners.
Adult learners have a different learning curve than high school or university students. As such, their response to training is different from the response of their younger counterparts. The two major elements that trainers need to consider are emotions and the overall learning process.
To create a favorable learning environment, trainers should manage not just the participants’ feelings but also their own emotions. When interacting with trainees, facilitators should avoid the following:
- Monopolizing the discussion
- Enforcing their opinions and biases
- Judging the participants’ ideas and views
- Interrupting participants during sharing sessions
- Digressing from the topic or main idea
- Arguing with troublesome trainees
- Ignoring timid trainees
- Letting the same people dominate sharing sessions
- Using non-verbal cues and body language that are open to misinterpretation
- Showing impatience towards participants who are slow to respond
Managing the learning process
It is important for trainers to also oversee the participants’ learning process. The trainers’ main goals should be to transfer knowledge and skills, stimulate positive attitude and the intended behavior change, and enable participants to meet future challenges. After all, the success of a training session will manifest in the trainees’ performance when they return to the workplace. Hence, trainers should not forget to:
- Check the physical limitations of the training venue. This is to ensure that planned activities can be carried out properly.
- Negotiate ground rules (and exceptions) with the participants.
- Identify everyone’s expectations of the training.
- Explain the objectives and the specific outputs of the training.
- Focus on topics that address the participants’ needs and problems.
- Conduct problem-solving activities that the trainees can benefit from. Activities should be measurable and aligned with the training objectives.
- Use various instructional methods and educational tools to generate interest and increase motivation.
- Provide breakout sessions to allow trainees to collectively reflect on the topics presented. As adults, they need time to process new information and compare it with previous knowledge.
- Adjust training activities to suit different learning speeds and styles.
- Consult with participants regarding the training process.
- Discontinue activities that have no positive impact on or direct benefits to the trainees.
- Extend support after the training through coaching, counseling and mentoring.
Trainers are responsible for ensuring successful planning and facilitation of leadership training. They should be able to steer any untoward training situation in the right direction as well as motivate all trainees to actively participate. To overcome training obstacles, facilitators should understand how to manage the emotions of all those involved, engage all trainees in productive discussions, remain resourceful, take initiative and be open to suggestions at all times.
This article is brought to you by eLeaP. Get more ideas on learning management systems from eLeaP.