I coined a phrase year’s ago for someone who has a lot of passion for employee learning and development as a “Trainer’s Heart.” I even use that as my Twitter account to promote good learning practices. In my opinion, the root source for success of anyone in the learning profession is about having enough passion for the job. As many will tell you we didn’t get in it for the money, but for the impact we can make on lives and careers. This mindset requires and demands a high level of passion.
I’ve had the honor of being a mentor to a wonderful person in Australia for several years now. While initially we worked on her career in training, over the past year it has been more of a coaching role to support and encourage her path. She is so full of passion for learning and understands the power and influence she carries that it is frustrating for her to work with unmotivated training people who see their work only as a job.
Way back, when I was a new trainer, I remember feeling anxious about a new workshop I was going to facilitate. A training manager walked over to my desk and asked me if I was okay, as I was looking kind of pale. I laughed and said I was just dealing with butterflies over an upcoming workshop. She sat down, and looked directly at me and said, “remember what this feels like, and when you no longer have these feelings before a new workshop, it is time to find another career.”
Her point was that my butterflies came from a desire to do the very best I could, and she realized that I was driven by the passion of a trainer who needs to do their job well. She also wanted me to understand that if and when this passion ever left me that it was time to move on to a different job. One that no longer supported employee development.
This week I exchanged an email with my Australian friend who has been frustrated with feeling like she is the only one that has any passion for the role they play in training. She actually has enough passion to share with three others, but the point is that she is surrounded with people who lack any passion. I know the feeling, as I speak with one person after another, week in and week out, that don’t share any sense of urgency to develop staff, or even see training as a needed resource. And yet in my efforts to help my friend focus, I found myself getting my own mojo back.
Do you feel that you have lost or are losing your passion as a trainer? Maybe it is missing, or on vacation? All I know for sure is that if you ever had a trainer’s heart, it is still in there. Find a way to recharge it, because you are a rare breed of trainer. The world of employee development cannot do it without your passion, and we cannot afford to lose good trainer hearts.