Rights and wrongs in training

I spent last week training a small group of interns, teaching them to use my company’s multimedia tools. It’s a long time since I trained a group of people, in a room, with the luxury of time and a training plan. And I realised again how much I enjoy it.

Reflecting on the week, there are some things I did wrong and some things I did right. Perhaps a short list of those would be helpful for anyone else who has the privilege of being a trainer.

Three things I did right:

* I knew what I wanted my group to learn to do, and I had a written plan, with times attached, working though the building blocks we needed to cover to get them where they needed to be.

* I had exercises aimed at getting my trainees to do things, rather than lecturing them

* I asked them at the beginning of each day, and at the end, if they had any questions about what they had already learned

Three things I did wrong:

* I talked too much. I always do. It’s important to leave spaces for the people in the group to have their say.

* I went too fast for some of them, and too slow for some of them. A perennial training issue – and one I still don’t know how to solve.

* I didn’t have the supporting notes ready for them, and they still don’t have them. I plead the pressure of my day job, getting in the way of customising my existing notes for this particular group. But – they should have had the relevant notes at the end of every day, and they didn’t.