Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Training Hard To Train People - 4 Techniques To Getting Better Results

Most of you reading this blog probably have at least one person in your life who is frustrating you. They are just not understanding anything you are trying to teach them and you are at the end of your rope. This could be an employee, student, coworker, child or even spouse (most likely a spouse. ;) Just kidding!

In order for anyone to do anything properly, they have to believe that they actually have what it takes to accomplish it. In other words, they have to have a healthy self-esteem that will enable them to try and than try again. As the teacher or trainer, the most important thing for you to understand when you are trying to teach someone something is that most people have a fear of failure.

This fear of failure keeps people from either trying all together or it makes them tense up which causes them to "fail" thus confirming that their fear was valid.

As the teacher, you have to be the one to eliminate this fear by assuring them that if they don't get it right the first time, they can depend on you for further assistance until they get it right.

You may be thinking, "great, now I'm going to be doing this myself forever!" Actually, on the contrary. By eliminating the fear, you will actually cause your trainee or student to relax and put more effort into it thus resulting in faster results.

Here are a few techniques that I often use when I am teaching someone something new.

1. Lower their expectation by saying, "It takes most people forever to learn how to do this so if you don't get it right away, don't worry about it."
What this does psychologically is relaxes them and creates a goal that they are going to prove that theory wrong by learning it in record time. I use this strategy with both children and adults and it works like magic.

2. Show the person what the outcome should look like before you start the training or teaching. If it is a theory that you are trying to convey, make sure you can explain the "Why." If you can't, you will not be able to get a person to understand the theory if the message is already counter-intuitive to their way of thinking. For example, if you are teaching someone how to build a book case, it helps to show the finished picture before you get started. Their natural ability to reason will help them put a lot of the pieces in the proper spot automatically.

3. Do not hover over them while they are in their learning phase. In other words, do not micro-manage them. You will make them nervous and they will make a lot of mistakes. Make sure they understand that if they need you for help they will not be a bother to you but let them come to you. Depending on the project or message, periodically check back with them in a patient way and ask if they are understanding everything so far. Do not ask them if they need help because they will probably say "no." Ask it in this manner, "Are you understanding everything that I have taught you so far?" They will be more likely to answer you accurately when you word it this way.

4. Do not compare them in a negative way to anyone else. Everyone learns differently. Your purpose is to get them to learn it in a way that they can do it on their own whenever it needs to be done. It is unnecessary to tell them that someone else learned it faster. That will lower their morale and make them want to either avoid you or lash out at you. Keep it positive. You will be doing yourself a disservice by making the person feel as if they are not measuring up to someone else because they will not want to try anything you teach them out of fear of feeling inferior.

I hope that these techniques have helped you. Give thanks to God for this lesson and continue on your road to success.

Have a super-fantastic day,

Alisani Brazil
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  1. That first one is GREAT! What a good idea.

  2. Thanks Maegan! Now don't forget to use this on Brian. ;)


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