10 Must-Have Skills and Qualities for Effective Trainers in 20196 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
Being a good trainer requires commitment, a solid reputation, and qualities that can impress the learner. Considering the swift technology changes, if you’re thinking about choosing a trainer, instructor, facilitator, or whatever nom de guerre you decide to use for them, to provide training for your company, then you must do your research well.
But how to be an effective trainer? Or if you’re looking for one, how can you make the right choice?
To help your selection process, we have prepared a list of trainer qualities and skills for you to look after. Maybe you’re a trainer in the process of development, looking for ways to improve yourself, either way, help yourself and scroll down for relevant data!
The difference between skills and qualities
Before we go on to a trainer hunt, we ought to know the difference in the terminology we’re using. Often people will confuse skills for qualities but turns out there is a slight difference.
When we refer to skills, we are talking about something that we learn to do over a certain time. For instance, during education or work, you will learn new skills that you can use differently. You can refine those skills through further training or life experience.
However, when we talk about qualities, we refer to them as parts of people’s personalities, with which they are usually born and that describe them as individuals. You cannot learn qualities or transfer them to another; you can grow and develop them through time.
Some trainers happen to have both skills and qualities merged, making their performance out-standing and engaging audiences at their maximum.
It takes a lot of discipline and self-training to be able to adapt to the mind-sets of different people. This is, however, what is expected from good trainers.
They know that learning is a process that manifests differently, depending on their trainees, yet, they find a way to reach them. Their communication skills are not similar to lecturing solely. Instead, they try and root for interaction and discussion, as the key strategies to keep an active approach towards the training process. Effective trainers know how to explain complex concepts so that people can grasp them easier. It’s up to them to raise interest and demand participation. That is why this skill is their most valuable asset.
It’s good for all of us to have some spontaneity and improvising skills every once in a while. We can use it not to sound mechanical and script-based when we are explaining or elaborating concepts. However, you should always take the time to plan and prepare your training materials and facilitation delivery very carefully. An effective trainer knows that using every minute of the training, to process information properly is very important to the trainees’ retention rate. Well-organized materials and lessons help remain consistent focus on the topic and prevent the audience from wandering off from it.
Some trainers often get caught up in the delivery process so much that they forget about the audience’s needs and differences. Focusing on being a perfectionist while facilitating, may have its perks. One of the main tips for being a good trainer involves conducting a needs analysis, understanding through a needs assessment what needs to be learned by your audience through and what you need to prioritize.
Advanced research skills
Good trainers are expected to possess innovative thinking. Instead of following old formats and dull materials, they should be bolder into experimenting with interactive and fun content in their courses. All this can be incorporated into training tools such as software platforms that allow them to combine different engaging media while still corresponding to the identity of their learning management system (LMS).
Good trainers will also know the importance of social media. They will use them to understand learners’ characteristics, to help them connect, or to approach them through personalizing the whole learning experience.
Skills of ‘entertraining’
Not all of us can manage to possess a fine sense of humor, to entertain the masses and keep them engaged by doing so. However, given the previously elaborated training tools such as videos, facilitating is no longer a one man’s show. By being an entertainer, you can make sure that you’re adding enough interest and enthusiasm to the subject, enough to keep the learners focused. It is important, though, to combine this skill with all of the above; otherwise, entertainment alone will not induce productivity and change in your audience.
Passionate about lifelong learning
Learning is a continuous process. Good trainers know this, and except delivering the knowledge, they will also try and absorb some themselves. They are self-driven, avid readers who understand that just because they have a certain degree or title, their methods can become outdated if they do not update to contemporary informal learning trends. This quality is essential, as we know that good learners make good teachers. The enthusiasm good trainers have about their field of expertise passes on and reflects directly in the audience’s outcomes.
There is a reason why trainers are invited to evaluate employee’s performance and to provide feedback. This is because if the problem to an employer is lack of productivity, a good trainer will translate it differently. He will involve the employee or learner, listen carefully, and understand that the problem is actually an inability to focus, distracting environment, confusing directions, or technological challenges encountered. Interpreting and listening to the trainees properly is key to finding an in-depth solution for them.
The right trainer will provide your staff with enough confidence to do their jobs in the best possible way. Motivation is a crucial element that makes the difference in the approach towards the trainees. Through motivating them, the trainer will direct learners toward their learning goals. Sometimes the training process requires a change of behavior and habits, except for just changing what learners know. And when an employee is motivated, change comes easier and gradual. Motivational trainers enhance trainees’ overall performance.
Thinking strategically involves the process of thinking, planning, and doing the work that will lead your company towards the most prominent future. This is what good trainers will do for you and your employees. They will have a good grasp of how the training process directly affects the business in the long-term. And, they will manage to think ahead on how to train employees regarding their roles and responsibilities, more efficiently.
Evaluating their trainees’ performance is one thing; however, effective trainer characteristics involve the process of assessing one’s self as well. They should be very sensitive about their performance, by measuring it through the objectives that the trainees have achieved, and by welcoming their feedback. Successful trainers rely on the regular update of their professional skills, network with other domain experts to keep track of changes in their field. Their self-analysis can determine the establishment of a successful training program.
Overall, it takes a certain set of attributes to be an effective trainer. We hope these skills and qualities will help you identify trainers that can take you on tour on the best practices of Learning and Development.