Create a working relationship
Imagine for a moment that you are one of many facilitators working with a successful consultancy. The training coordinator is the person who’s your direct contact and they’re extremely busy!
S/he might look after scheduling, planning workshops, organize invitations to your delegates, book your flights, pay hotels, order supplies, phone client and manage communications with you.
They might also be the accounts person, the receptionist, the blog-writer, the person who answers the phone and manages the training faculty (you and other facilitators) It’s a tough role!
So you need to establish a working relationship this person because you will depend on them to make your training programs and workshops a success, right?
Here are a couple of ideas
Remember the small stuff
I spoke with Judith who is the Training Coordinator for a training consultancy in London. She told me that consultants often make her life difficult. And it’s usually the small stuff that matters most.
One of the last things that someone like Judith wants to have to do is to chase you for your invoice or email you for the third time requesting evaluation forms. Is this ringing any bells? 🙂
As a training co-ordinator, Judith probably doesn’t make anything like the money you charge for a single day’s facilitation ($1500 +). In fact, it’s a fraction of that. (She told me)
If Judith has to spend time she doesn’t have to fix your mistakes and remind you to do the things you have promised to do, this can create a teeny-weeny bit of resentment. (Ok…a Lot!)
Drop them a note
So what can you do to maintain a good relationship. The answer is actually easier than you think, It’s all the stuff you are expected to do plus one or two small things that make you stand out.
Be reliable, be punctual, be flexible, be helpful and be grateful. When a training co-ordinator’s life is hectic, they need all the cooperation, flexibility and gratitude you can give them.
Why not drop the training co-ordinator a note now and again to let them know you appreciate their time and help in making your work possible. Lift the phone, write an email or send a card.
Here’s a simple example.
You don’t have to pretend to be a friend. Just act like someone who is grateful for all the unseen work and under-appreciated hours that make a great days facilitation possible.
You would be amazed how a simple 4-5 lines like this can make a huge difference to someone’s day. I have seen training coordinators hang on to notes like these, print them off and hang them up.
What’s the cost to you of a note like this? Nothing. How many consultants take the time to do this? Very few. The most important person is the person that makes you important. (That’s Judith)
Thank them publicly
If appropriate, you could give her / him / them a shout out on LinkedIn. It’s nice to praise in public using something like #goingaboveandbeyond or whatever is trending at the time.
Buy them a coffee (really)
Several times this year, I have bought a Business Development Manager, Training Co-Ordinator or Ops Manager a coffee to thank them for their help. Usually, I get one back in return.
It could be a thank you for a project or for referring new business to me. We get talking and I might find out about things that are coming up. I might find out about things bugging them.
Perhaps there is no one who is prepared to create a podcast episode or write a blog post. That’s an opportunity to help them back. Sometimes, just listening is a way of saying ‘I appreciate you’.
How ever you can help, it’s definitely in your interest to develop a close, trusting working relationship with the people who sell your expertise to clients. They make you money!
Nip problems in the bud
If you are making the life of the training coordinator more difficult than it already is, the CEO or Operation’s Director usually gets to hear about this and they won’t appreciate it.
Remember that the training co-ordinator sits in the office (you don’t) and sometimes sits with- in earshot of the company leadership.
Once you know that something is a problem or has the potential to develop into one, you can do something about it. Perhaps you don’t submit training reports in a way that is easy to process.
Perhaps your emails are abrupt. Whatever the reason, by keeping channels open, you can find these things out and fix them before they become real problems. Nip problems in the bud quickly!
Drop training co-ordinators and training organisers a line now and again to let them you that you appreciate their guidance and help.
Establish whether you are doing anything which in anyway adds to their workload, then eliminate it so that you preserve the relationship and stay in their good books.
Get to know what they do on a day-to-day basis as there might be a way you can help them and make money from doing it. Be the first person they trust for advice.
Seek out opportunities to meet informally in order to find out where you can help with future projects. They have their ear to the ground. You might be the first person they ask!
What other ideas do you have to help training co-ordinators?
Share your ideas below. Thanks!