Oh, the Places You’ll Train!

If I could write a children’s book about my training experiences, it would probably go a little something like this:

You’ve gotten the call,

A gap has been found,

No chance it can be dull,

’cause you’re the best trainer around!

Armed with certificates and fancy degrees,

And classes and skills and subject matter expertise,

A lesson is needed, so do not delay,

A rockin’ lesson is needed, so be off, on your way!

Some classes are big,

Some will be small.

Sometimes you’ll use a computer

And you’ll see no classes at all!

Some locales will be exotic

But mostly they’re tame

After a while the airports and hotels

All start looking the same.

Helping people to “get it”

is what you were born to do,

From sales to coaching to building a canoe.

There is nothing you can’t train,

When given due time,

You assess certain needs,

Then you develop the design.

You’re a super trainer all right,

You ought to don a red cape,

It’ll be an amazing day of activities,

Until the hotel staff says you can’t use tape.

No tape blue and no tape masking,

No tape duct, thank you for asking.

Nothing can be taped to the wall,

No flipcharts, no signs… nothing at all.

This doesn’t bode well

For your planned gallery walk,

No movement and writing,

Just lecture and talk?!

You’ll have to adjust on the fly

C’mon, there is no time to cry

Your learners march in

Start time has drawn nigh.

Most learners are eager,

They’re eager to grow,

Eager to think, pair and share,

Eager to know.

And when they get it,

It’s like someone switched on a light,

It all makes sense now,

They shout “Ah ha!” with delight.

Things are rolling,

Connections made dot-to-dot,

Full steam ahead,

Until one guy says: “I’m just too hot.”

It’s easy to solve,

you turn on the A/C,

“Actually!” exclaims another,

“More heat would satisfy me!”

The session is sidetracked

By the temperature debate

And now people realize

It’s been five hours since they last ate.

These things happen

To even the best lessons planned,

But the trainers who thrive

Are the most flexible in the land.

Stick to the objectives, but go with the flow,

Be there objections or questions, just go, go, go, go!

Deliver with strength, deliver with grace,

Deliver with poise, presence and good pace.

Focus on the learning need

And you will succeed

(57 3/4 percent guaranteed).

If you’d like better odds

Here is a clue:

The key to training success

Is to accept it’s not all about you

Your learners’ bosses can be a giant post-training black hole,

Unless they’ve asked some questions, like:

Does your learner have a goal?

Will she be asked to use her new skills? Does this even align with her role?

Often your evals score high,

Except when they’re low.

Sometimes the comments get personal,

Sometimes they land a low blow.

The important thing is,

And write this right down,

That learners use what they learn

Whether they smile or frown.

Be they from Toledo, Teribithia or Tellygaloo,

Training success is really measured by what learners can do.

Oh, the places you’ll go when someone does something new,

Then says: “thanks so much, I learned that from you!”

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