Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 13)

BEHAVIOR ∆ CHANGE THE IMPORTANCE of SOFT SKILLS FOR TRAINERS - ANNE DRANITSARIS, PH.D. AND HEATHER DRANITSARIS-HILLIARD Do your trainers have the soft skills needed to run your organization's training and development programs? After spending the time and resources identifying employee needs, designing and scheduling training events, do your trainers have the ability to recognize and address resistance? Do they have the assertiveness to hold trainees accountable? Trainers don't always have the ability to ensure that employees are onboard and engaged in training. Having control of the emotional climate in the class requires the trainer to have well-developed soft skills. Control doesn't mean an autocratic or heavy-handed approach. It means that they are able to guide, influence, inspire and empathize with their trainees in a way that moves the trainees through the agenda. Without these skills, trainers stand little chance of transferring knowledge, attitudes or behavior to the trainees. Critical soft skills for trainers: * Self-management: Use a variety of strategies to reduce personal stress and prevent taking the behavior of trainees personally. * Empathy & Support: Understand the potential impact of being mandated to attend training and use supportive engagement strategies to help trainees identify personal learning objectives. * Communication: Use reflective listening and feedback to encourage trainee involvement, clarify and expand upon their contributions, guide discussions and enhance their understanding of content and concepts. * Control: Use strategies to keep the group focused, on task and within established periods, while remaining responsive to group needs. * Resistance: Know how to empathize, engage and involve trainees who display resistance, a lack of involvement or exhibit disruptive behaviors. WHEN TRAINERS DON'T HAVE NECESSARY SOFT SKILLS Here are just a few examples of what can occur when trainers don't have the necessary soft skills for training: Fail to respond to challenging questions. Questions such as, "I don't need this training to do my job. Why do I have to take it?" can cause the trainer to oversell the merits of the training instead of finding out the actual concern or the issue that caused the challenge. Are Unprepared for emotional responses. If the trainer assumes that all employees want and appreciate training and development, they aren't prepared to deal with emotional responses or acting out during the training session. Take employees behavior personally. A trainer's emotional response (anger, frustration, impatience or hurt feelings) to a trainee's disruptive or rejecting behavior means they are taking the trainees behavior personally. Without emotional self-awareness, trainers run the risk of becoming defensive. Overlook negative behavior during training. Having rules of conduct during T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - SPRING20 1 5 I WWW.TRAIN INGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE training is important, but are rendered ineffective when the trainer doesn't assert their authority and hold trainees accountable to the rules. Give the impression that training is optional. If a trainer allows a trainee to leave during the session to take care of work, it gives the impression that their attendance is negotiable. When a trainer has difficulty asserting their authority, training sessions will have poor attendance. The trainer/trainee relationship is critical to the success of the training program. Too often, subject matter experts are selected to do training without checking to see if they have the necessary interpersonal skills. Sometimes managers or peers conduct training without learning how to manage the session effectively. Well-developed soft skills are needed to build this important relationship and ensure that trainees are engaged, supported and nurtured through the learning process. These skills and their effective application help to ensure your training and development dollars are well spent. Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D., & Heather DranitsarisHilliard are leading experts in personality and behavioral change. They are the creators of the Striving Styles® Personality System and authors of "Who Are You Meant To Be?" Email Anne and Heather. 13 http://www.trainingindustry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015

Soft Skills Make Up Vital Part of Corporate Training
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Leadership: The Artichoke Effect
Focusing on Mindsets and Attitudes
The Importance of Soft Skills For Trainers
Social Simulators Bring Training to Life
The Power of Storytelling in Organizational Development
Leading Change with Resilience
Why Perspective Selling Makes Sense
Harnessing the Power of Teamwork
Collaborate to Innovate: Building an Innovation-Friendly Business Culture
Are You Using the Best Metrics to Evaluate Your Skills Training?
Influencing into the Future
Culture: The Enemy at the Gate of Innovation
Casebook: T-Mobile: Answering the Call for Leadership Development
Leadership is an Inside Job
Vendor Selection Tips for Corporate Sales Training
Checking Your Motivation to Lead
The Real ROI of Leadership Training: Soft Skills Lead to Hard Results
Closing Deals
Company News
What's Online
Training Talk

Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2015

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