Being the more experienced personnel, if you are able to guide a relatively less experienced trainer/instructor on how to deliver workshops, seminars, and courses for developing the skills or increasing the knowledge of other people, it is known as your train-the-trainer skill.

Typically, train the trainer skills are expected to help prepare the instructors within an organization to convey all information effectively. There are many ways in which an experienced facilitator can coach and mentor the inexperienced instructors.

For instance, they may attend the training sessions of a new instructor and offer constructive criticism after a careful observation, or they may provide audio/video recordings of the training session conducted by them so that the inexperienced teachers may observe and learn.

Why is train-the-trainer skill important

The importance of train the trainer skills root back to the importance of training within organizations. We are well aware of how varying sorts of training provided to employees can increase their productivity and job satisfaction, enhancing the overall competitiveness of the organization in the long run. For this to actually happen, however, such training sessions need to be spot on.

This is exactly where train the trainer skills play their role. The instructors that provide all such trainings must be trained themselves e.g. in how to make accurate observations during the session, listen effectively, lead discussions, as well as help participants link the particular training to their jobs.

Ensuring, through training, that the instructors are able to do so is the only way to get the desired outcome from all these training sessions with the company employees. Otherwise, training activities will come to be seen as nothing more than wastage of time and money.

How to improve train-the-trainer skills

Following are some helpful tips to improve your train-the-trainer skills:

  • Indulge the learners in an honest self-assessment. Trainers in organizations are most of the time merely experts with extensive knowledge in the particular field. They don’t necessarily have any facilitation experience. In order to train the trainer, you must first ask him to rate his current facilitation skills with respect to the required confidence and effectiveness. They could be asked to list down the challenges they need to overcome in order to improve their facilitation skills. This enables you to train the trainers in exactly those areas where they are lagging behind e.g. presentation skills, engagement of the audience, or streamlining the content to give the learners exactly what they need.
  • Demonstrate and then let them practice. Always manage your train-the-trainer session in smaller chunks where a lecture or demonstration is followed by a practice activity such that the trainers give a short training to their peers. Observe them carefully during such activities and provide useful feedback. Another good way of doing this could be helping them to set an action plan for the practical application of what they learn and then follow up.
Job profiles that require this skill