Welcome to Training Tips Thursday #12! This week I wanted to write a bit about the balance between confidence and arrogance when delivering training. This came to my mind during my Training Tips in 10 Facebook Live on Tuesday. One of my tips was when you are delivering training, don’t think that you know it all. But, equally, don’t go in there thinking you aren’t good enough to be delivering the training.
There are times when it may be obvious that you are going to delivering training to people who will already know a lot of what you are talking about. A clear example of this came up in a conversation with one of my friends yesterday. She has worked in Children’s Services for ten years in administrative roles. She has taken minutes in safeguarding meetings and knows the names of nearly all the managers and other people in the County who hold job positions relevant to safeguarding procedures. Now she works in a pre-school, is new in post and had to go on a Safeguarding Course for someone working face to face with children. She has done previous safeguarding training before but this was from a slightly different perspective and focusing on a different age range of children. So, there were things she didn’t know but some of the training was very familiar to her. At the start of the course it came up in discussion what her previous job roles had been. The trainer clocked this and used her knowledge. When delivering this kind of training the trainer will often say things like, “And if this happens you need to contact the Local Authority Designated Officer…”. They may not know the name of the person who is in that role for each local authority. People change jobs, it can be hard to keep up. In this case she asked my friend to fill in names so the other learners would be able to contact those people more easily. This meant the training was even more beneficial to those attending. I have however seen trainers do quite the opposite.
There have been times when I have been a training participant or observed training where a trainer becomes aware someone else in the room has a lot of knowledge in the subject area. For some reason they don’t use this fantastic resource but instead become quite defensive, almost argumentative if the participant tries to offer useful information. Sometimes this can make the trainer come across as quite arrogant but I think this can also make it look like the trainer isn’t confident in their knowledge. It also makes the learners feel uncomfortable which means they will be less on board and enthusiastic during discussions and activities. The whole training session becomes hard work for everyone.
I often delivered training with groups of youth workers who had been working with young people for a long time. They were on my training because they wanted to achieve qualifications to back up their experience. Many of them had brilliant ideas, experiences and knowledge to share. I would take the lead when training them in theories and how to complete the qualification but on the whole much of the training was discussion based to allow us all to learn from each other. I don’t think anyone in the room saw me as any less knowledgable for facilitating my training in that way and I certainly left a lot of my courses more knowledgable.
You need to have enough confidence in yourself to be able to say I know a lot, I will never know it all and so if the opportunity arises then I am here to learn too.