As an example of long-term training evaluation, Derek Stockley comments on recent personal experiences about his own trainer development and the impact of training on others.
A "trainer" from the past
I was in a chemist shop (drug store) when I glanced over and recognised one of the pharmacists standing behind the counter. I knew the face. He was much older but there was little doubt that the man standing there was one of the presenters at my first "train the trainer" course - when I was a participant and not the "trainer".
A quick glance at his name tag confirmed it. I introduced myself and explained how I knew him. He didn’t remember me, but I didn’t expect him too. It was over 25 years ago!
I thanked him for his role in the training program. He was very important to me in my personal and career development.
That first "train the trainer" program changed the course of my life.
Although I completed my accounting degree, I did not pursue an accounting career. In fact, my first full-time job was a training role. Although I branched out into other areas as my career progressed, training has remained with me as an underlying theme.
I remembered that trainer because of his personal impact on me.
A "trainee" from the past
As I thought about the situation, I was reminded of a recent experience where the same thing had happened to me. I had been asked to conduct some advanced facilitation training for a major training organisation in Australia.
The Master of Ceremonies had been a participant on one of the first "train the trainer" programs that I conducted as a trainer.
When introducing me to the participants, he spoke of his involvement as a participant in that program and how, all these years later, the person who had originally trained him had come back to further continue his development.
In the same organisation was another person who had in turn been trained by his colleague, the person I had originally trained.
These events are all examples of long-term training evaluation. It may not be very scientific, but it is very real!
The three of us were all involved in the Victorian Jaycees "train the trainer" program (see my personal background for a brief explanation of my involvement with Jaycees).
The impact of those "train the trainer" programs have been long lasting. Our involvement has led us all to an active and continuing involvement in training activities.
Firstly, training is fun.
Secondly, implemented correctly, training can have major impacts on individual and organisational behaviour and performance.
And what is the best training?
Whilst there are many types and different forms of training, I have maintained for many years that "train the trainer" training is the best form of leadership development, whether it be self-leadership or the leadership of others.
The skills learnt (public speaking, listening, giving feedback, developing skills, leading a discussion, etc.) are useful in a whole range of activities, not just conducting training sessions.
You are never too old to participate in your first "train the trainer" program.
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