Training is about more than presenting skills and then leaving clients to figure out the rest once your class ends.
When your delegates believe they can use what they have learned and see personal value in applying it, you will have made a positive influence in their lives.
As a learning & development professional, you help your clients create a productive mindset toward solving workplace problems and life challenges.
Here are some highly effective ways to make a lasting positive influence on your clients in the virtual or physical training space.
1 Be Persistent
Not everyone picks up things at the same speed as their colleagues. Acquiring new skills can be tough. Training material can be complex and hard to get to grips with.
Nonetheless, I’ve had delegates on my training courses who are determined to learn. They read and re-read. They make notes and they ask lots of questions.
How persistent are you? How did you develop the skills to become a trainer or facilitator? What was the positive influence that drove you?
You kept on trying. You didn’t give up. You studied until you learned enough to train others in your area of expertise. Well done!
So one of the qualities that your learners need to see in you is persistence. It’s a quality which is characteristic of people who succeed.
Tip – Share stories of your personal trials and challenges and encourage others to give examples of the things that drive them to be successful both inside and outside of work.
2 Be Kind
When people enter my classroom – whether face to face or in the virtual space – I’m often reminded of the need to be kind.
The truth is, that until you know the background of your learners, you don’t really know them as people.
Some of your delegates may have domestic problems or work problems. Some may be experiencing what Amy Cuddy calls impostor syndrome.
You’d be surprised how quickly kindness can put people at ease. And the atmosphere of tolerance and kindness you create in your trainings can have an immediate positive influence.
Did you know that EQ ( Emotional Intelligence ) is often more highly valued that ‘traditional’ intelligence by employers.
So if EQ is what companies are looking for in their people, then they certainly want to see it in trainers like you who develop their people, right?
Tip – Give compliments and recognize individual contributions in the classroom wherever you can. People may forget your content but they won’t forget how you treat them.
3 Be Supportive
When your clients give you a group to train, they usually don’t just want people to come back with more knowledge in their heads.
What they actually want are better team-players. They want to see cohesion and collaboration on the back of the workshops and trainings they have paid you for.
It’s so easy to concentrate on learning objectives and overlook the importance of developing positive relationships at work. We need the support of others in most everything we do.
When people come out of my trainings with better working relationships (not just new skills), I know that I’ve facilitated more than learning.
Tip – Think of the case-studies and excercises you can use to engender co-operation and joint problem-solving. How can you have a positive influence by getting people to better support each other after your training is over?
4 Be Creative
One of the advantages of training groups of people together is that you facilitate opportunities to unlock fresh thinking and have positive influence on each other.
When I ran a World-Cafe in Scotland for the sales leadership team of an Asian bank, I was amazed how creative they were. Not as individuals but as a team.
The strange thing was that although they did most (if not all of the work), they credited me with helping them come up with these breakthroughs.
Your workshops and online programs can often become the catalyst for solving important work-related problems. You just need to harness this creativity.
The best trainers I know don’t try to come up with all of the ideas because they don’t have all the ideas. No one does.
Tip – Figure out which tools and workshops are going to leverage the creativity of your delegates. When people are made to feel clever, that can reflect on you!
5 Be Focused
Over the course of one of your trainings, people might go off on a tangent and bring up things which have nothing to do with work or the training.
You might want people to explore ideas but then you need to bring the group back on track. Focus is the gateway to better thinking and business success
You are responsible for managing the cognitive experience of people in your care. If you are not focused on your plan as program leader, your training could suffer.
Remember that your program has (or should have) clear learning objectives. In turn, these objectives are mapped to a lesson plan.
The instructors who impress me are those who focus on their plan and get the work done.
And the clients whom I’ve impressed are those who tell me that I focused on learning outcomes and delivered what I promised.
Tip – Model the power of focus in all that you do. Get a reputation for focusing on priorities and getting your learners to do the same. That’s a great way to have a positive influence.
Your training really has the power to alter your learners paradigms through positive behaviors.
The next time you work with clients, think of the kind of positive influence you want to have – not just the training you want to deliver.
The value of your programs and workshops have a ripple-effect far beyond the classroom.
What else will have a positive influence in your next training?