Trainer and Facilitator

Recently I was reading a recent Compensation Force article by Ann Bares entitled Reward Design: It’s No Place for Amateurs and it got me thinking about HR especially focusing on being a trainer. There are many people that believe it is so easy. So simple that they tack it onto the end of their own title or profile as an add-on to what they are good at.

Have you ever been in a seminar

…sat through a webinar, classroom or lecture and the person facilitating, talking, or lecturing you through it is very knowledgeable about a subject, yet it’s quickly evident that they are clueless to how to present, create uniformity or transfer the ideas and concepts that you are eager to understand? It is especially frustrating when the person in front of you cannot help you make a connection to the topic, practices, system or approach.

They think they know, but they truly do not! But somehow you and everyone else knows this to the point where its eerily uncomfortable? Been there?

My theory: Just because you say you are, doesn’t mean anything.

Maybe I’m on a soapbox but just because you call yourself a trainer, have led a discussion on your own expertise, been in front of a group of people, or asked a question of a participant in a session - does not make you a trainer! It also doesn’t make you a facilitator. It only makes you a person that talks in front of a group.

An Analogy: (1) You are a recruiter, been doing it for years. You know the ins and outs. The behavioral interviewing questions. You know when you have the right candidate and know when they have the experience or just know how to answer a tough question. (2) You’re a benefits administrator. You understand your vendors products. How each regulatory change affects your employee package. You know who comes back every year during open enrollment. The typical questions you will receive and who to contact for their specific situation if need be.

(1) This year you are overloaded and someone else is asked to step in and help you do the interview screening for a position. (2) An accounting administrator offers to sit in with you during the open enrollment and health fair. All of a sudden you hear something to the affect of “Hey this isn’t so tough. I could do this.”

I know many people who are experts on a subject, otherwise known as SME’s, yet they do not know how to translate that expertise across platforms, people, departments, client partners and executives. They think, but do not have the slightest understanding of the situations that many partners, executives, employees and clients face in the day to day life.

Just because you did something for a day or two… just because you helped out for a moment… doesn’t mean you can take the punches repeatedly. It takes time to build the intuition in any job you do. It takes skill to teach others how to do it as well.

I want to know - does this happen to you? Are there individuals that think your job and specialty is easier then it is?

I will be doing a short series on this subject. “What you need to know:” on coaching, facilitation and training. Look out for it and let me know what you think. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section.



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