It happens to all of us at one time or another. Just like writers experience the dreaded block, trainers and educators fall into a training rut. Join us as we share tips and personal experiences that have helped us get out and stay out of the rut.
The word rut can be defined as a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change. We are creatures of habit. While not necessarily a bad thing, a habit that turns into redundancy will quickly affect the quality of what we are trying to present or teach.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
How can a trainer get into a rut?
It can be easy to think: your material hasn’t changed, so why should your presentation? And therein lies the rut. Picture this: You are training all over the country. You have been presenting the same topic for quite some time now, but one day you are up on stage and realize you are boring yourself. If you are bored, what about your audience?!
Does this mean you need to scrap your entire presentation and start over from scratch? No! It’s just time to freshen things up. Do additional research and look for updated statistics. Read about your topic from different authors to gain different perspectives and approaches. Ask your audience for feedback. All of these steps can help keep your presentation relevant and exciting.
How can a trainer get out of a rut?
It’s time to cozy up to the next generation. Get to know the younger ones in your audience and snoop around. What is current? What is working? What we are teaching may still be relevant, but the way we teach may need to be updated to embrace different learning styles.
Another resource is to ask the consumers about their experiences. Make it a point to touch base with the customers of your team. What did they like/dislike about their recent sales experience? These interviews can help you create an even more targeted approach to your training. For example, what are their feelings about having a long sales call via the phone? Perhaps they are like many others and would prefer messaging instead. Knowing this can help you adjust your training and target what’s needed. In this case, a focus on technology and ways to gather information via messaging or AI.
Another step to help you as a trainer get out of your rut is to be sure to take a moment to reflect on your audience. They have carved out a portion of their day to come and listen to you, and you have the privilege to teach them. Remembering this will help you stay motivated to always bring your best and do the additional work needed to stay invested in your training techniques.
What are some skills a trainer should look into?
As trainers and educators, we should be devoted to our education and growth. Investigate new learning methods and styles. We recommend taking a moment to check out https://www.liberatingstructures.com/ to see a truly unique approach to teaching. This is just one example. There are many different perspectives and approaches to training. Make it a goal to set aside regular time to do personal research so you never stop advancing as an educator.
A point of caution. We talk a lot about stepping out of our comfort zones, and while this is a good practice, we need to be careful. We want to grow and try new things but never to the detriment of our audience. So be sure that whenever you are embarking on something new that you are very familiar and comfortable with it before presenting in front of an audience. Get in front of that mirror or have a colleague help you round out any rough edges.
So are you ready to grab a shovel and dig yourself out? Use these tips, seek out honest feedback from peers and be ready to educate your next audience.
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