I'm in the middle of another run of Train the Trainer Courses. Managers within the business come along to learn basic training skills so that they can deliver our bite-size training sessions with confidence. As part of the 2-day workshop, they practice running two sessions: One on giving feedback and one on coaching. This is partly because feedback and coaching are very useful skills to have when training (and it saves me having to cover them separately), but also because they are quite generic topics that managers tend to know something about.
But, a strange thing happens when we reflect on the workshop and identify the most useful aspects. Up to a half of delegates say that the feedback and coaching sessions were the most useful parts of the workshop! Now, when I dig deeper, some people say this because they found practising running a training session and getting feedback was invaluable. Others say it was learning about feedback and coaching itself that was most important. At first, I thought this was a bit worrying - here are mid and senior level people who are learning (really quite basic) feedback and coaching skills that they have allegedly been trained on in the past. Then, I started to analyse WHY.
It is one thing to 'understand' - they all understood the benefits, models and concepts. It is another to put it into practice on a regular basis, and another still to teach someone else. In the medical profession, they use a simple 'read it, see it, do it, teach it' approach to surgical procedures. It is only when the trainee is good enough to teach others that they are allowed to complete procedures by themselves. When you know you are going to have train someone else, you naturally drill a little deeper into what it is you are doing. If you are the trainee, you accept what is given, and are often happy to get by with the minimum you can. When you are the trainer, you need to know more.
So when these managers realised that they had to provide TRAINING on this subject that they thought they knew, they suddenly took it very seriously. They really thought about good and bad examples. They really had to understand and spot 'what good looks like'. They had to identify WHY some feedback was better than others. They had to give feedback on the role plays, and suggest alternatives. The training retention pyramid shows that the more interactive the training is, the better the retention. That is why any trainer worth their fee will use brain-friendly training techniques and get people involved. But if people have to train others, or apply those skills immediately, the retention is incredibly high, as much as 90%.
So, when you train managers to deliver training, you are DOUBLY investing in the skills of your workforce: The managers take their skills to a new and improved level and retain the vast majority of what they are training. Those participating in an interactive training session will learn and retain the core messages and basic skills, that they can apply (and are more likely to apply because their managers now what good looks like, and don't want to see their effort being wasted).
More detailed feedback from our Train the Trainer Workshops can be found here and here. Photos from our events can be found on our Facebook Page. If you want double benefits from one investment, take a look at our Train the Trainer workshops, and get in touch. email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0780 3165780