A Trainer’s Heart

If there is one topic I discuss throughout my book The Training Physical more than any other it would have to be having a “Trainer’s Heart.”  This is a term I invented to describe as a quality I look for in people who will work in and lead training departments.  Having a Trainer’s Heart means that they understand the purpose of training, and their motives are all about helping others become successful.

In some ways it is much like the popular term used to describe a “Servant” Leader, which as we know is the opposite of the “Self-Serving” Leader.  Having a Trainer’s Heart does not make you a trainer, but it is the indication that you could become a very effective training professional.

Sadly, I have discovered in the past 22 years I have been in this profession that less than half of the people in training roles have a Trainer’s Heart.  Too many see the job as a way to kick back and collect a paycheck.  Too many have no desire to learn the craft, and become continual learners themselves.  Too many are ruining the reputation of training for the rest of us.

A facilitator with a Trainer’s Heart will do whatever it takes to make sure that the participants are able to perform better after a training event.  An instructional designer with a Trainer’s heart will create programs that bridge and build skills through engaging activities.  Both focus on knowledge transfer, not just information blasting.

A manager with a Trainer’s Heart views their role as a proactive partner with the business, and pushes back on training initiatives that are poorly linked to performance issues.  They will support learning activities that make a difference and they will avoid window dressing activities.

While corporate training today is gaining support in some companies, many other companies are cutting the training function to save money.  To avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water, we need to fix underperforming training departments rather than eliminating them.  Finding people with a Trainer’s Heart to replace those that don’t belong is a good first step.


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