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Some pet hates that Trainers’ Library helps L&D professionals avoid:

Our new advert starring the hapless Bert, gives me a perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the reasons I created Trainers’ Library more than 23 years ago and, in particular, why I started writing training materials in the way I do.

As well as tonnes of research, I’ve learnt a lot about learning from the myriad of courses and workshops I’ve attended as a participant. Some of those experiences have inspired me and had a lasting impact. 

But not all. 

Which means, alongside my long list of what makes training great, I quickly developed a list of pet hates that I was determined Trainers’ Library would help learning and development professionals avoid. 

Here are four of those:

1. Over reliance on PowerPoint: Don’t get me wrong - PowerPoint has its place. It can help reinforce key learning points and an effective use of visuals can help make potentially complex models and ideas easier to understand. But I still go cold when I think about that one-day ‘workshop’ with over 100 slides, listening to the trainer read them out verbatim at a pace about half the speed I was reading them. I remember the experience, but I have no idea what I was supposed to learn from it – apart from how to crush an audience’s motivation to breathe.

2. Icebreakers that have no relevance: There’s a reason why the icebreakers in Trainers’ Library are categorised by behaviour and learning topic. It helps trainers launch their training in a way that’s engaging AND relevant, and stops icebreakers being a waste of precious time. The same with energisers. We don’t want anyone to be asking at the end of the training – ‘that was fun, but what was the point?’ 

3. An Expert Mentality: Whilst it’s great if the trainer has some relevant experience and expertise, learning is generally more likely to stick and influence change if the learner has had some part in it and benefits from a sense of discovery. After all, which would you prefer, listening to someone at the front of the room drone on about how great they are and how you should clone their behaviours in order to be successful? Or the opportunity to engage in activities and discussions that encourages you to not only learn from everyone in the room but share your own ideas and discover something about yourself in the process? Besides, success usually comes from learning how to become the best version of you, not the best version of someone else. That’s why I’ve spent more than two decades developing training content that is focused on delivering learner-led learning.

4. Fear of emotion: Too much training is entirely based on a transfer of knowledge. But, as I’ve demonstrated many, many times, knowledge alone will never deliver meaningful, long-lasting change. If we want people to be inspired to go back to their workplaces and initiate real change, we need them to be emotionally engaged and to have an emotional reaction to the learning. Want proof? Think about how often you break the speed limit whilst driving – you know the rules, but most people still do it sometimes. Why?

Trainers’ Library was created in 2003 after so many clients had started asking me to write training materials their own training teams could deliver internally. They’d seen the impact experiential, engaging, fun but relevant training could have, and they wanted to enable their teams to achieve the same, without having to spend weeks developing each new training intervention.

And we know our approach works – I regularly hear from people who remember an activity they engaged with years ago - sometimes more than 20 - and who tell me the impact it has had on them. 

Trainers’ Library is not just about saving 80% of the time and money you’d otherwise spend developing training. It’s about enabling trainers to make a real, long-lasting and positive impact on learners.

Want to know more? Check out our tour here.

Until next time...

February 13 2024Rod Webb

Rod Webb

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