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Have you ever wondered why some trainers make a great impact with the audience while some have the audience leaving with rolling eyes?  Some in the audience may even say, “What a waste of time.”  If you’ve been in the training environment for some time, you’ll notice that not all trainers are the same.  Just like in other professions, there are those that seem to just get by and then there are those that truly stand out from the crowd.  There are good trainers and there are great trainers.  So what makes a trainer get from good to great?  I found that there are 7 habits great trainers do on a continuing basis.

Habit 1:  Always Prepared

Great trainers prepare for every class.  Before any class, regardless of how many times they’ve trained it, they always review and prepare ahead of time.  They also anticipate problems and issues before the class starts to minimize surprises that can throw off the entire training experience.

Habit 2:  Ensures Quality Work

Great trainers are highly detail oriented and ensure that the work they do is done right, every time.  They double check and triple check every material they create to ensure errors and omissions are avoided.  Their training sessions are complete, not lacking on important details that will affect the final outcome.

Habit 3:  Open To Constructive Feedback

Great trainers know they can always become better by asking their peers how they can improve, then implement their suggestions.  They are also open to feedback from those they didn’t ask suggestions from, like their managers.  Regardless of how experienced and knowledgeable a trainer is, there is always room for improvement.  Great trainers can pick up new and improved ways of doing things from other great trainers.

Habit 4:  Self Improvement

Great trainers continually read and learn new things to add to their skills.  With companies streamlining their budgets, they are looking for trainers that have multiple skill sets.  The most highly sought after trainers have multiple skills sets that make them a valuable part of the team.  For example, smaller companies don’t have the budget to have both an instructional designer and a trainer.  Instead they are looking for trainers that have both skill sets.  Another example are trainers that are great in training software and equally as good training on company products.  Great trainers strive to be the best they can be by being proactive in their self development.

Habit 5:  Solution Oriented

Great trainers aren’t content with the status quo.  Even some large companies have inefficient programs, processes, or errors in their material.  Great trainers are adept at identifying areas that can be improved and look for solutions to benefit the training program as a whole.  Challenges also often come up in training when you least expect them.  A great trainer looks for solutions to the problem instead of complaining about them.

Habit 6:  Professional Demeanor

Great trainers look and act like professionals.  For example, I am always surprised by some trainers that look like they just rolled out of bed with wrinkled clothes and unkempt hair.  Great trainers dress and groom themselves appropriately for their roles.  They speak properly and ensure all their communication (ie: diction or emails) are professional.  Employees look to trainers as examples, therefore trainers need to look and act the part.

Habit 7:  Excellent Follow Up

Great trainers have excellent follow up.  Trainers don’t always have all the answers to all the questions, but great trainers seek out those answers and follow up with the learners as soon as reasonably possible.  They do what they say and they follow up when necessary.  They go above and beyond what is required.  They let the learners know that they are always available when they are needed.  Follow up with new hires is especially important because their progression in training can’t be completed unless they get the necessary assistance from their trainers.

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