Whether you’ve been training for a while or are just getting started, here’s a valuable exercise to help you use your personal experiences as a trainee to improve your skills as a trainer.
For this exercise, consider all the training experiences you can remember from the home, workplace, school, other organizations, or while learning to drive or other skills, etc. Use these questions to review your trainee experiences in a methodical way to glean training tips for yourself.
Grab a notepad and spend some time answering the following questions:
- When have you received training in the past? List at least three examples.
- Of these examples, which training did you enjoy the most? Why?
- Which training has benefited you the most? How has it benefited you?
- Which training was least enjoyable? What made it so?
- Which training was least effective? Why?
- Think back on the training methods you have witnessed, including lectures, presentations, discussions, exercises, or hands-on learning. What methods do you find the most interesting or effective? Why?
- Briefly describe one memorable incident from training you have received.
These questions are open-ended to give you room to remember and reflect. Be as detailed as you can even though some of the training may have occurred many years ago. But everything you can quantify or categorize can help you with your training sessions today.
Make sure that you focus on the “why” questions. This is usually the most difficult part of the exercise. But your answers to the “why” questions can be used to build your knowledge of training methods. For instance, you may realize that a certain training experience led to skills you still use every day. Why did you retain this valuable skill from that particular training? How can you use that same method to help your own trainees retain the safety skills you need them to use every day?
This exercise is a foundational building block as you build your knowledge of training. Be a lifelong learner of training principles and methodology to keep your training techniques fresh and new.
- As a safety trainer, you have a serious responsibility to ensure that your trainees understand, retain, and practice the material on which you train them.
- It’s not enough for you to have total comprehension of the safety material on which you train.
- You also need to know how to communicate and teach that material in a way that trainees understand and can put into practice.
Improving your skills as a trainer is an ongoing process. Your next class will be better than the last one. Get feedback from those you teach and use it to improve your delivery, the course content (when possible) and any other element within your control. The results will not only be measured in how well you train others, but also by the amount of training they retain and incorporate into their behavior.
- Training the Web Chef Way (fourkitchens.com)
- Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters, What Works (psychologicalscience.org)
- Learning on the Job: Myth vs Science (psychologicalscience.org)