Learning is the very core of training. Basically, learning entails gaining new knowledge, ability, and behavior that lead to some changes in how we do things. Meanwhile, trainers are assumed to be not only experts in certain matters but also have well-grounded know-how of learners’ capabilities (United Nations, 2001). On top of that, enhancing one’s training skills is another challenge.
In this article, you will find out the most essential training skills and tools. Having these will allow you to perform what you are meant to do: convey knowledge and reap the benefits of a successful training career.
In technical parlance, developing the skills of trainers is known as interprofessional learning. The concept is well understood based on the definition of the Centre for the Advancement of Inter-professional Education (CAIPE), thus:
“as occasions when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of [work].”
The National Democratic Institute article “A Trainer’s Guide: How to Design and Deliver Training with Impact” recalls how elements, like history, culture, religion, as well as politics, have altered the way people learn. “Historically in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), mosques were the place to learn how to read and write. This was called ‘kuttab.’ The word comes from the verb ‘kataba,’ which means ‘wrote,’ and the noun ‘kitab,’ which means ‘book.’ The person leading this process as the teacher was usually the Imam. This meant that your teacher—the Imam—was also a source of knowledge about religion and life, and a leader in the community. This status made it very difficult to argue with him. Additionally, few people would challenge their political or tribal leaders. As a result, a one-sided environment was created for the flow of information and knowledge—it came from those in leadership down to the people and rarely moved in the reverse direction. From this arrangement, the educational system and culture for learning were established.” This paper was authored by Shannon O’Connell and AbdulSalam Medeni.
What skills do trainers need? Certain hard and soft skills, namely research skills, communication skills, organizational skills, adaptability skills, and passion for learning, make trainers fully effective at what they do (Apostolopoulos, 2020).
Sophisticated research skills mean elaborate and inquisitive internet research. Take Boolean operators and symbols when using Google for instance, which deals with using “and,” “or,” and “not” when typing in the search bar; adding quotation marks to locate a certain keyword; and using the minus sign to disregard the words you have typed earlier.
Doing this Google researching method can guide you in finding significant and trustworthy information. New websites with more helpful content can also be found easily with this technique.
Nevertheless, assessing the validity of websites and their content is still a must. Check their menu items and footers to confirm if they are updated.
Trainers communicate with their learners differently. If you do not know how to simplify a technical concept or listen to the issues of your learners, learning would not take place.
Inspire and engage your learners by listening to them, asking the right questions, elaborating clearly, and providing sound feedback (Apostolopoulos, 2020).
Source: United Nations, 2001
Trainers are always expected to finish several tasks before launching a training program. Organizational skills are indispensable, from gathering materials to conducting training sessions.
Problem-solving is another organization-associated skill. If you are more organized now, that means you have solved many problems previously.
Life always has a way of surprising us, but sometimes, in ways that do not favor us. Hence, expect the unexpected. Be adaptable. Have alternative plans in case plan A does not work. Ponder on things that could go wrong, prepare for them, and resolve them before they even agonize you.
Adaptability is one of the most essential skills for trainers and, in the long run, it can become one of your most valued characters.
Being passionate about lifelong learning will help you keep posted on the ever-evolving training industry. Most importantly, finding out your learners’ learning habits will let you understand them and empathize with them.
Creating courses regularly can sometimes make trainers forget that feeling of learning new concepts. Feelings of uneasiness, disappointment, excitement, and boredom can all enter a learner’s mind. The best thing to do in these situations is to figure out what they are really thinking and feeling. Upskilling yourself, such as enrolling in essential skills for trainers course, so that you will always know what being a learner feels like is also highly suggested.
Training tools refer to initiatives, platforms, or guides that aid trainers in training learners. There are countless training tools out there; some are particular to training, while others sustain other careers (Apostolopoulos, 2020). The four primary classifications of the essential training tools for trainers are featured below.
Learning management systems (LMS) help trainers make courses, manage learners, and monitor performance. Aside from knowing how to use LMS, trainers must also know how to use them to their full potential.
Authoring tools enable trainers to incorporate a range of media and multimedia files in their training programs. These tools are the perfect means for making courses as interactive as they can get.
Fortunately, many LMSs have built-in authoring tools nowadays.
Videos give learners a more appealing and evocative training experience. Thanks to today’s video editing software, trainers can easily edit a full video anytime, anywhere.
The most popular video formats now are talking head videos, screen recordings, and video presentations, to name a few.
Believe it or not, social media can serve as productive training tools.
The surge of Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and so on implies that learners use them a lot. Use these platforms to connect with your learners, allow them to exchange ideas with each other, and customize your materials based on their interests.
Social media can also help you sell your online courses faster and in a wider market.
Shaped by myriad determinants, learning is a tricky process, especially for adults whose attributes, stimuli, difficulties, and learning styles differ from each other. As a trainer, the challenges are in grasping their learners’ overall learning processes and individual uniqueness and in determining how their own training skills and tools can help them achieve their learning objectives and improve outcomes. At the same time, the rewards are in learning new insights from them and knowing they were influential in their growth and success (United Nations, 2001).