The Core Qualities of a Good Trainer
Before you dive into the six core qualities of an effective corporate trainer and reflect on them with our guests, you can test yourself a little with the checklist below. It contains the traits that we’ll examine in this article. See if you tick all the boxes! It’s OK if some of them are empty so far – feel free to skip to the ones you need and get ideas on how to improve them.
They are effective facilitators
Training is not the same as didactic teaching. It is the learners’ needs, peculiarities, and objectives that trainers have in focus – not giving lectures from textbooks. They guide learners on how to accomplish training objectives, notice group dynamics and learners’ progress, and manage the training event. That’s facilitation.
Roy Pollock, Chief Learning Officer at The 6Ds Company, emphasizes that good trainers are more than just a “sage on the stage,” and that they should operate with a learner-centered approach.
They are great communicators
Trainers are able to maintain a dialogue with various participants and groups of learners. Their strong communication and interpersonal skills help them attract and maintain attention, break the ice, shift the focus of learners when needed, and be heard by the audience. A successful trainer is also good at nonverbal communication, including body language, which helps to indicate people’s moods, attitudes, and psychological blocks that hinder development.
Dave Potter, Director of Training and Development at Triad Unlimited, points out that a good trainer should possess and master many communication methods:
Assessing the participants’ body language, putting them at ease, and making sure everyone remains engaged requires several types of communication and a great deal of competence in them.
They are ready for the unexpected
There are situations when things don’t go as planned, and trainers should be able to handle such situations easily. For example, not all employees may embrace training: they can doubt its relevance and say something like, “What’s the point? I’d be better off going back to work and focusing on my duties.” A good trainer should be able to communicate the value of this particular training to such participants.
They are respectful and patient
Trainers deal with adults with various backgrounds, lifestyles, education, and different behaviors. There are sprinters and stayers in training, and Barbara Davis Robinson thinks that a good trainer must pay equal attention to both.
Trainers have to balance the content and cater to multiple learning abilities to keep the group focused and on-track so that learning can take place for everyone. How this is projected and communicated in a respectful manner makes the difference in whether the sprinters stay with you or zone out.
They are mature
It may seem that a good trainer is a superhuman who demonstrates supremacy in skills, character traits, knows everything about business or life success, and acts like an unattainable ideal. But, in fact, trainers are people too. They also have strengths and weaknesses. The thing is that a good trainer is a mature person who has confidence, high self-esteem, and doesn’t need to assert themself at the expense of others for the sake of always being right.
They are passionate about teaching
Genuine enthusiasm is highly desirable for trainers. They should know the ways to maintain a passion for their work, keep their heart and mind open, and deeply care about the results of training. As Roy Pollock puts it, an effective trainer is one who genuinely cares about his or her learners’ success.