Training in general and safety training in particular has many "challenges" (also known as problems). As trainers, we all face some problems or challenges during the delivery of our training sessions. In this fun, engaging, and highly participative session, we will be discussing and problem-solving many of the typical "training challenges" that can and do occur in many a training class. First let's review some of my own "guiding principles" regarding these challenges.

Guiding Principles

  • There are no "problems", only "challenges"! These challenges are (great) opportunities to improve my skills as a trainer. This may sound clichéd, but is a truism. Just as the saying goes, "What doesn't kill me, leaves me stronger", the same is true in delivery of training - "What doesn't kill my training leaves me a stronger, better trainer".

  • Put the Learner first! What I mean by this is always encourage a "learner-centered" classroom instead of an "information-centered" one. The learner should come before (be considered more important than) the information. After all, why are we all there - to be learners.

  • Put yourself in the learner's place! There could be all sorts of things going on that might be interfering with a learner's abilities in the classroom. Again a saying makes sense here - "One can never hope to understand another until he walks a mile in the other's shoes".

  • Listen! Restate the question or issue to be clear of your understanding of it. I as a trainer am always trying to anticipate what a student is asking and often I "mis-anticipate" it.

  • Never ever get defensive! No matter what. Period. Take the high road instead. A third cliché (but a truism), "When given lemons, make lemonade". I was insulted in front of about 200 trainees by one of them (I can't repeat it here), and rather than get upset, I turned it into a funny story (at my own expense - not his) and got huge laughs. I ended the session on a high note!

  • "THB" or "Trainer Hold Back"! What this means is let the students go, answer, talk or whatever first. Only then I can fill in with what they don't mention or discuss. This is based on my Dad's dictum of "FHB" or "family hold back" meaning the guest is served and eats first - and seconds - before we do.

  • You or I, as the "Trainer", are better described as the "facilitator"! I just coordinate and help with other's learning. As the psychologist Carl Rogers said, "I can no longer teach others". By this he meant that it was up to the learner to be responsible for his/her own learning.

  • You or I should not be (or feel the need to be) the only person doing "training". As a matter of fact, the more we can get the students participating as co-teachers, the better; the more learning taking place, and the easier for us, too.

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