Who Trained the Trainer?

There are many roles outs there which people claim are easy to learn but difficult to answer. Learning a new role or even a new product line to sell can be easy if you are shown by the right person. But did the trainer actually do the role themselves at any point?

An interesting conversation was overheard by one of the Robertson Sumner team whilst out and about over the weekend between two nameless employees of a company who were discussing the training then had just received. It would appear that the training had taken place and been conducted by someone who had never done the role they were teaching others to do. When this story was relayed to the rest of the Robertson Sumner office a ‰’lively’ discussion soon kicked off.

The end result was a clear split between those who believed that as long as the trainer provides you with the skills and knowledge to be successful in the role then it doesn’t matter if they have never done it themselves. Firmly on the other side of the office was those who truly believed that you can take the lessons seriously form an individual who had never tried to practice what they preached.

Is there a right or wrong answer to this question – probably not – however what was clear to everyone who took part in the discussion was it doesn’t matter who takes the training as the content is king. If you have someone who can engage with others and maintain their interest whilst imparting what could be relatively boring information then you could be onto a winner in the trainer stakes. On the reverse side of this argument you could have the most successful person to ever actually do the job conduct the training but if they are talking in monosyllabic, boring, tones then the training will be a waste of time.

Yes experience within the role will provide the trainer with the best examples and case studies to use in the training program, and they would surely be best placed to answer any unexpected questions the ‰’students’ might have however if you have new starters joining your business don’t just look at the team they will be working in to find the person who will train them in the role. Personality, engagement and the ability to get the message across trumps experience… Doesn’t it….?

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