What makes a trainer, coach or supervisor successful? Providing high-quality training courses or thorough coaching and peer review processes requires more than just sufficient professional knowledge. Indeed, success depends on sufficient didactic and practical skills. The offerings in this category therefore focus on the (further) development of you as a trainer, coach or peer reviewer.
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Training during and perhaps after the COVID-19 pandemic will require a different kind of approach. In this week's blog, we talk to Learnit expert trainer Leah. Within Learnit she bears a large responsibility for all training in the field of (online) training, also called "train the trainer" training. Through the years she has gathered a lot of knowledge and experience in this field.
To help you be a better online trainer and presenter during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Learnit is hosting an interactive webinar on 9 February between 9:00 - 12:00 called: "Online training and presenting". Click here for more information. To give you a sneak preview, Leah tells you more about the webinar in the interview below.
Hi Leah! First of all, perhaps a simple question: in what ways does online training differ from classical, physical training?
In many different ways. I will explain one; you are not in the same room, but there is a screen between you and the participants. At first, that seems like an obstacle, an obstacle. But if you let that screen work for you and make it even more part of your training than the standard PowerPoint, then you can also use other online tools and thus enrich your training.
To what extent are you already familiar with online training?
Since March 2020, almost all physical training courses of Learnit have moved to an online form. Together with the team we have translated these to an online version, with adapted work formats, didactics and times. I had to figure out a lot myself, but also learned from colleagues, networks and Blogs/LinkedIn.
What do you really like about online training?
Online training remains training, with the other person coming to new insights and changing behaviour. It stays that way! An additional advantage, I think, is that since we have been training online, I have acquired so many new and interesting online tools myself. So, as a trainer, I have gained a kind of momentum in my own development.
And could you also indicate what you find less fun/difficult about online training?
I myself come from a school of educated trainers, where you leave a lot with the group, in other words, you are reluctant to give turns. That sometimes works less well online. There seems to be a greater threshold for contributing something. That is something I keep a close eye on in every online training.
You will be giving a webinar on this subject on 9 February, can you give us some idea of what you will be discussing?
We will work with online tools and you will get tips on how to promote interaction. So the participants get to work too; after all, it is interactive!
Sounds good, and what if I am not a trainer myself, is the webinar also interesting to participate in?
Yes, definitely! Nowadays, many people are meeting online. Tips for promoting interaction and various online tools can also be a good contribution for another online meeting.
Thank you Leah! Are you curious? Then click Here for more information about the webinar and sign up!link]
Self-directed teams: in some organisations, employees are overjoyed that they can do their work autonomously, but there are also plenty of examples where self-direction fails miserably. There, employees beg for the return of the old familiar manager.
Research by the University of Groningen (RUG) shows that reducing or even removing formal leadership ultimately means that the informal hierarchy becomes stronger.
The researchers published their findings in November 2018 in the scientific journal Journal of Organizational Behavior. In order for team members to work together as equals, a leader is needed. As a result, team members do not have to fight among themselves about who is the boss, the RUG research team argues.
This while self-directed teams are developed from a utopian vision of the future. By giving people a lot of freedom and responsibility, the right working atmosphere should arise. That will bring efficiency, is the idea. It all sounds progressive, but does it work?
No', concluded several large home care organisations in recent years - including Cordaan in Amsterdam and Laurens in Rotterdam. Former interim board chairman of Laurens Vincent Maas ended self-direction in 2017 and received applause from his colleagues. In January 2019, the director was critical of the working method with independent teams in newspaper Trouw.
Maas: ''Self-management only works if the board really believes in it and the employees are fully committed. These are preconditions you have to meet before you can start on self-management.
Instructor of Learnit Training Anna Maria also sees it regularly go wrong on the work floor. Often these teams are expected to have certain skills and behaviour. The team is not always ready for this: there is often a lack of resources, insight and development to meet these expectations.
Anna Maria states that a self-managing team needs time to develop. A self-managing team develops in phases over time. You can't just skip them. Self-management is the final stage in team development and you don't get there just like that.''
After an optimistic start with self-directed teams, it is time for some nuance. Self-steering can work well, as long as attention is paid to the process: a sudden change will cause friction anyway. But how do you guide such a change? A Learnit team coach can offer a solution.
In the webinar Self-directed teams: how to make them successful, from Learnit Training on 18 June 2019, Anna Maria discussed the stages a team has to go through towards self-direction. The trainer provided tips to get you started on making your self-directed team a success. Watch it back here.link]
Do you ever give training courses? Then you will undoubtedly recognise this situation: during the training you are confronted with resistance from a participant. How do you deal with this? We are often startled and do not always react adequately", says Anna Maria, trainer at Learnit Training.
That has nothing to do with reason, but it is mainly because resistance is active under the surface. It triggers certain thoughts and emotions and even has a physical aspect'', explains the trainer. So we cannot avoid resistance. But what causes it?
Anna Maria sees the increasing focus on speed as one of the causes of resistance during training. Rushing through a lot of material in little time is becoming the norm. That is understandable, but not always efficient.
The fact that professionals without experience as teachers are increasingly providing training within companies can also cause friction, according to Anna Maria. They are competent and professional in their field, but inexperienced as trainers.
That inexperience is by no means always a problem. Often people respond positively to expertise and a large amount of knowledge of the trainer. But if that is not the case, then other factors play a role. Then there is often something else going on, what do you do then?
Take time for people, Anna Maria continues. People appreciate attention. So that's how you win loyalty, commitment and motivation'. A good trainer does not rush through his training, but takes time for the 'person learning'.
If you are interested in your participants, you can often prevent resistance. And if it does happen, you can intervene in the right way. People are happy with attention, recognition and understanding'', says the trainer.
If you can prevent resistance, the feedback will be positive and the result of your training will be optimal. This is positive for the participants and for the organisation that invests in training colleagues. Anna Maria: A win-win situation!
In the webinar Resistance in your training, now what? on 27 June 2019, the trainer went deeper into the problem. Watch it back here. In addition, Anna Maria gave more tips, which will help you learn how to better deal with resistance when you are in front of the group yourself.link]
Level differences are something you often come across in practice during training'', says communication trainer Michaela. Michaela provides, amongst others, the training courses Train the trainer, Conversational techniques and Communicative skills at Learnit. Typical for Dutch education is that we deal with these differences by making many divisions between school types, courses and learning paths. In December 2018, the Education Council stated that we have gone too far in this differentiation. This causes students with different social backgrounds to have less contact with each other. While school is precisely the place where young people can learn to deal with differences.
But dealing with level differences in groups is not always easy. Not only in secondary education, but also in business training you have to deal with this. Participants have different ages, learning styles, learning speeds, backgrounds, knowledge and experience. Especially in training sessions with open registrations you as a trainer do not know in advance what the level of the group is. As a trainer you have to deal with this.
Differentiation means treating participants unequally'', says Michaela. Look at the learning styles and the pace of the participants, then vary this and don't play into the middle ground. Do you see people frowning or not wanting to look at you? Then someone is anxious or does not yet understand. Zoom in on that''.
Everyone learns in a different way. One participant prefers to read through the material himself, while the other prefers to get started right away. You can categorise participants into four groups: doers, thinkers, dreamers and decision-makers. During an intake interview, you can determine to which category a participant belongs. These categories include different learning styles that fit well. By varying the learning styles of your participants, you give everyone the opportunity to get the most out of the training.
Michaela went into more detail in the Webinar: How do I deal with level differences in the group? elaborated on this issue. This session took place on Tuesday 14 May 2019. During this interactive training, she explained that level differences do not have to be an obstacle, but that you can actually use them in a training. Watch it back here!link]
A webinar is increasingly used as a marketing tool. It is an interactive way of promoting a product, explaining a certain subject or communicating a specific message. There is a lot involved in organising webinars, from the topic to the presentation and technology. How do you get the most out of a webinar despite all the preparations? We have put together some useful tips and points of attention that can be useful when organising a webinar.
Engage your audience
Engage your audience not only during the webinar, but also before and after. Remind the participants of the webinar in advance by sending them a reminder e-mail and possibly more in-depth information. Make use of social media, email contact and place the possibility to register on the website. Are there participants from other time zones? Take this into account by choosing the right time, so everyone can watch live. During the webinar itself, you can easily engage the audience by making the webinar interactive. Make sure that people can ask questions, click on a poll or express their ideas. When the webinar is over, you can continue to engage participants. For example, send a recording of the webinar and additional information on the topic. You can also give participants an option to automatically sign up for upcoming webinars.
Practice, practice and more practice!
Before the live broadcast of a webinar, there is a possibility for a try-out. This way you can get acquainted with the studio, the equipment and you can go through the entire webinar. During a try-out you often discover that a few adjustments still need to be made. The PowerPoint is not right, moments for questions have not been thought out or the presentation text is too long. For a webinar, it is important that you go through the presentation thoroughly beforehand and practise it, so that you can make optimal use of the webinar. So take advantage of the opportunity to practice with a try-out!
Make the webinar specific
Choose a good title that matches the purpose of the webinar. If a title is unclear, or the purpose of the webinar is missing, a smaller audience will be attracted to the webinar. Before organising a webinar, make the purpose of the webinar very clear. Do you want to convey a message, provide information or sell a product? There are many possibilities, so make a clear choice. With a specific goal you can approach a specific target group and thus attract a larger audience.
Presenter and host
In addition to a presenter who is knowledgeable about the topic, it is useful to have a 'host' during the webinar. The host can lead the webinar, introduce the presenter and topics and ask questions that participants have asked online. If the presenter goes on too long about a topic, the host can easily interrupt him or her. In addition, having two people actively contributing to the webinar can make it livelier.
Organise your own webinar?
During our two-day training Webinar Organising, attention is paid to all the technical aspects that are involved in setting up a webinar. The hardware is also discussed, such as working with a microphone and the placement, settings, framing and operation of the camera(s). In addition, the presentation of a webinar and the associated interaction and communication with an online audience will be discussed. Of course you will also get to work in our webinar studio to experience what is involved in giving a webinar.link]
A leader who does not consult, determines everything and keeps everything under strict control: is that still of our time? We think not. Bottum-up communication is appreciated and employees want to feel that they are somewhat involved in policy-making. There is perhaps no such thing as a good leader, but in this blog, we list a number of concrete tips that can at least bring you closer to successful leadership!
It is important that this vision is shared by the employees and that you get everyone on the same page, however cliché that may sound. In this way, there is a common striving and an optimal team spirit. Furthermore, a good leader has a knack for finding the right people and putting them where they can do the most good. A good leader allows his or her employees a great deal of freedom in what they do and does not spend all of their time checking up on them or giving them directions. Of course, you set a vision and an end goal, but then you let the employees do their job the way they do it best.
It is important to set a clear goal and then trust your employees to do the job independently and as they see fit. When you are constantly on top of things, you block all creativity, initiative and job satisfaction of an employee. Because of this, an employee can never improve or grow in a certain field. Good employees are more likely to leave the organisation because they feel inhibited, unappreciated or stifled. Your task as a good leader is primarily to create a situation and provide the means for an employee to do his or her job optimally.
Employee and human being
The person behind the employee is essential here. When an employee does not feel good about him or herself, for whatever reason, his or her performance suffers and so does the company. Therefore, it is important to have a continuous conversation with them to some extent. Knowing how someone is doing, applauding good performance or initiatives are important here. Empathy should not be confused with building a personal relationship. That's not your job either in the setting of a company. But taking an interest in an employee is. Make them enthusiastic for your vision and your final goal and support them where necessary.
Concrete tips for leaders
Perhaps it is a bit outdated to talk about the good leader, but there are certainly some concrete tips that reflect the basis of leadership:
Discover the leader in yourself
Do you find the tips useful, but are you looking for more depth and want to develop your skills? Do you want to know what kind of leader you are and how you can polish your leadership qualities to become a modern, coaching leader? Our training course Coaching Leadership might be a good training for you! If you are looking for a different training, feel free to scroll through our complete course overview to see which training fits your needs.link]
These are three of the terms often used in business: training, peer review and coaching. As a manager, they are three important tools that you can use to further develop yourself and your employees. What you use and when as a means of bonding and development is decisive for success. Is it only about the development of certain skills or do you want the entire team to become more structurally professional?
About (team) coaching
If the emphasis is on individual development or behavioural change within a team, coaching is the best tool. A coach can help individual employees or the team to look differently at themselves and their position within the organisation. And to learn different behaviour, which contributes positively to the processes of the company and the professional development of the employee. Coaching is focused on the specific competences required in the job and is linked to the employee's pace of development. Coaching is not advice. What you do as a coach is expose the undercurrent and encourage the other person to take responsibility for their own development. By holding up a mirror and confronting others through connection, you set the other person or the team in motion. The result is always paramount. The exercises and reflections stimulate you to experiment with new behaviour. There is plenty of room for customised exercises and feedback.
What is intervision?
Intervision is a powerful tool to stimulate reflection. Basically, it involves colleagues or professionals sharing experiences and thoughts with each other. Together, they work towards reflecting on this behaviour, adapting it and improving their own professionalism. Intervision differs from coaching in its structure. A meeting follows a fixed pattern. This gives you something to hold on to and ensures that you achieve depth within a certain period of time. On the basis of equality, you go deeper into a case together and reflect on the streamlining of intervision meetings, tips can be given for valuable working methods and, if desired, intervision meetings can be supervised in the start-up phase. Of course, the ultimate goal is to shape this together.
A training course is in most cases aimed at developing specific skills of employees (whether or not within a team). At Learnit you will find a wide range of training courses. For example in the field of communication, management or ict. During our trainings we focus not only on the actual behaviour, but also on the background of this behaviour: where does it come from, which conviction leads to this behaviour and how does this possibly impede new behaviour. Using exercises derived from valuable and proven models, participants experience the power of new skills with us. The end result leads to more handles and knowledge about the do's and don'ts of the new skills.
When to deploy what?
Which instrument (coaching, intervision or training) to use and when depends on the following factors:
It's not always easy to decide whether training, intervision or coaching is the best fit for you. Fortunately, our training advisors can help you make the right decision. Call us at 020-6369179 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and we will help you:link]
A good manager is a good coach. If you want to improve yourself as a manager/leader, you will have to address your coaching qualities. What are these qualities and how do they manifest themselves in a good coach?
A good coach is a good listener
Imagine talking to someone whose head is somewhere else. You try to tell your story, but it doesn't seem to get through. And this while it is really important to you that this person hears what you are saying. Right, very frustrating! On the other hand, a conversation with someone who pays full attention to you; someone who does not judge; someone who really listens to what you say. As a coach, be that last person! Show that you have the intention to really listen by starting the conversation with a question. Be creative with what your conversation partner says. Too often we are only thinking about what we are going to say ourselves, so we do not have time to really listen to (and respond to) the other person.
A good coach asks
As a manager, you often have a lot of knowledge, which you like to share with others. However, it is a good idea not to assume the role of narrator. By asking (specific) questions you can let people take their own steps in a development process. You coach them in the right direction. By letting them give the answers themselves, employees will be more inclined to accept knowledge. And to use this knowledge in their work.
A good coach has a positive attitude
If there is a relationship of trust between coach and employee, together you can look to the future in a positive way. A good coach knows how to shed a positive light on most things and to take his or her discussion partner with him or her in his or her view. This requires that you, as a manager, have confidence in your employees.
A good coach works on the employee's sense of responsibility
An employee who feels responsible will do more to actually implement the plans discussed. It helps to make a step-by-step plan (with deadlines) together and to give the employee the responsibility for its implementation.
Do you want to take steps as a coach yourself? Then sign up for our training Coaching skills: practical basic techniques. During this training you learn practical techniques to further develop your coaching skills.link]
Are you a trainer or coach? Then you know better than anyone how valuable it is to work on your own development. We give you five tips to get started.
1 | Stay curious about others
Talk to others and learn! Together you know so much more. Therefore, regularly meet up with competitors or colleagues to exchange training techniques, anecdotes and tips.
2 | Keep on learning
A training course to refresh your memory when it comes to training techniques is essential! We have been giving Train the trainer trainings for a long time now, and the comments are always the same: "I have picked up so much that had sunk in". You always learn new things during a training course. And you pick up 'old things', which you can use to improve your basic techniques.
3 | Keep your techniques up-to-date
Change your methodology and apply new exercises every now and then. Scour the internet for exercises that others have come up with. Then add your own twist to make it a great training exercise!
4 | Ask questions
Always ask the participants about their experiences. They have a lot of valuable knowledge that you can use to improve your training. Do not be afraid of criticism and always remain open-minded. Sometimes small adjustments can bring your training to a whole new level. You cannot think of everything yourself (in advance). You don't have to: use our sharing economy and the knowledge of others.
5 | Adjust in time
Do you notice during a training course that the atmosphere is not good, that the group is restless, that people do not understand the material, that everything goes a bit awry? Dare to adjust! And if necessary, make a sincere remark about this to break the ice and to involve everyone in the learning process. Honesty is a powerful tool!
We have developed the Train the trainer training especially for you. Would you also like to refresh your knowledge and spar with fellow trainers? Take a look at our website and who knows, we will see you at the training.link]
To deliver a good training, you need more than just solid professional knowledge. But what are the main ingredients of a successful training course? In this blog we will show you the five success factors of a training course.
1. Set concrete learning goals
Without learning objectives you have no focus and you do not know where to direct the training. The global learning goal of the training is therefore always the subject of your training (for example, presenting with conviction). Within this global subject, you have specific sub-topics (such as the structure, preparation, communication model), which you can formulate in concrete learning objectives (captivating speech, holding attention). This makes it clear to the participants what they are going to work on and what they can improve.
It is important to make concrete what you want your participants to learn, because then the participants know why they are doing the exercises. Only then can you measure whether the learning goals have actually been achieved. This can be measured during the training itself (e.g. by video analysis of a mini-presentation), immediately afterwards (evaluation with the participants), but also after the training by investigating how the participants apply what they have learned in practice (interview with the manager).
2. Connect with your target group
Always be yourself as a trainer, but consider the participants in your training. Always look at the context: make sure that you have collected enough information beforehand so that you can connect with your participants. You can do an intake with questions about learning goals, previous experiences, and expected results. You can delve into the organisation, look at websites, talk to fellow trainers about similar issues or similar learning questions and organisations. You can read professional journals, map out the male/female ratio and make an overview of age, knowledge level and background. Don't have this information at hand? Then pay attention to this at the beginning of the training and make use of it during the training. This makes the participants feel heard and it allows you to put yourself in their place.
3. Vary the working methods according to learning objectives
Once the learning objectives are clear and you know who you are dealing with, you can start looking at the working methods you can use. Variation can be found in many factors, such as using different senses and intelligences, but also, for example, by having the participants work alternately in pairs, then in threes and then in groups. This way you can allow for different interpretations, which keeps the attention. As a trainer, try out different approaches from time to time. By using different methods, you will continue to challenge yourself (and your participants)!
4. Check the framework conditions
Make a checklist for yourself of the things that need to be done or ready to be done in order to create an optimal learning environment. Has all information been given to the participants? Are the tables set up properly? Is there enough flipchart paper with pens that work properly? And is the beamer working? By checking these preconditions before the training starts, you can focus on the group during the training and not on the things around it.
5. Your added value as a trainer
Your role as a trainer is essential, because you are the one who has to convey the material. The trainer makes the difference, because the theory remains the same. Know what your strengths are as a trainer and use them to your advantage. Where does your talent lie? Make full use of this. On the one hand, you take on the role of expert, and on the other hand, you take on the role of facilitator. Your role as an expert is self-evident: possessing professional knowledge, which enables you to stand in front of the group. As a facilitator, you are busy getting the learning process started. But what makes a good facilitator?
This is twofold: on the one hand, these are your didactic skills, such as responding to the group, preparing, conveying the lesson material, ensuring interaction, removing resistance, practising, etc. On the other hand, you can learn by doing and getting trained. You can learn this by doing and by being trained. Following our Train the trainer training will give you a lot of insight into your own style of training and seeing yourself on video provides valuable feedback. On the other hand, your personality plays a role in how you facilitate: every trainer is unique and has his own style of training.
Know your style and make sure you get feedback. Dare to ask for it, so you know where your strengths lie as a trainer and what you can still work on.link]
Reorganisation: the magic word in times of crisis. Far-reaching changes for organisations, teams and individuals are daily fare - many people have to deal with reorganisations themselves or through their environment. Reorganisation can be associated with renewal, improvement and a chance to put things right. But not all consequences of a reorganisation are equally rosy.
Besides the fact that jobs are often lost, employees have to get used to the new situations they find themselves in. The 'remainers' have to say goodbye to colleagues and to old, familiar methods and protocols. The pressure of work increases because fewer people are employed. New teams and socially hierarchical relationships arise. This combination of factors can cause stress, irritation and uncertainty: things that do not benefit the productivity of either the individual or the (new) team, which is precisely the aim of the reorganisation. How can companies ensure that a reorganisation has the desired effect?
Coaching can play an essential role in successful reorganisation. Individual coaching can be of value when a specific employee is not functioning well and has mental and/or physical complaints. Raising the alarm in time is then of great importance, so that someone can be supported in an individual trajectory to, for example, get used to changes in position or team.
But it may also be the case that a team as a whole is not functioning well, and this is where team coaching comes in. Team coaching is a powerful tool for getting the most out of a team, even (or especially) in the difficult and changing circumstances that come with reorganisations. Sometimes, teams or departments consciously or unconsciously maintain patterns, convictions and behaviours that no longer fit the new work context. Team coaching focuses on the team as a whole, leading to a new way of thinking and working. A team is more than the sum of its parts; a change can only be truly successful when it is carried and lived by the entire team.
Team coaching assists teams in searching for and finding thresholds, but also has a preventive effect when new teams are being set up. Important here is the completely external role of the team coach, who is completely outside the system and can therefore operate freely and openly. One of the core lessons that the coaches try to convey is that the heterogeneity of a team - the differences between its members that so often cause conflicts - is precisely the team's strength. Attempts by both managers and team members to homogenise employees lead, more often and more intensely than the actual differences, to an unpleasant and non-productive working atmosphere.
Coaching a team is the way to hold up a healthy mirror to failed teams, or even prevent them from doing so. The positive consequences of this are greater job satisfaction, lower absenteeism and increased productivity.
Do you want to discover what team coaching can do for your team? Read more information about team coaching on our website, request a quote without obligation or schedule a meeting with one of our specialists by calling 020 6369179 or email@example.com.
For a Dutch multinational with activities in the field of paints, lacquers and (specialty) chemicals, Learnit Training has provided several Train the Trainer programmes. The organisation's specialists provide multiple training programmes across the globe. These internal trainers have a good knowledge of the content, but wanted to improve their didactic skills and pay more attention to experiential learning, so they can better connect to different personality types and learning styles.
During the two-day multi-group training, the internal trainers reviewed their own material and practised making their training programme more interactive. They received feedback on their personal style as trainers and gained insight in how to deal with different types of participants. During the programme, we paid attention to the following subjects, among others:
Each internal trainer concluded the training by giving a mini-training of their own, so that they could practice with and reflect on their own material. The majority of the training sessions were held in English. Occasionally, we provide refreshment meetings for the organisation, so that the internal trainers can keep their knowledge up to date.
"The content of the training was very strong. The trainer used very diverse techniques to learn, but also to see for yourself how you can apply those techniques. During the training, the trainer actually set a good example, which for me is the best way to learn. A very enthusiastic and energetic way, but very natural, not over the top."
"The trainer was very knowledgeable and connected very well with what we could use. She inspired the group to do new things."
During the recruitment and selection training for the management team of a steamship company, a deeper problem was identified: the organisation wanted to move from a relatively closed organisation to a more open communicative organisational culture. To achieve this, more attention could be paid to employees who were not performing well and to making conflicts on the shop floor open for discussion. This means asking managers to give more direct feedback, to conduct performance interviews in a constructive manner and to motivate and enthuse their staff by rewarding them more openly.
To achieve this, Learnit Training developed a special training programme, adapted to the organisation and the prevailing culture. Five board members and ten middle managers followed the course Coaching leadership for managers during one year, followed by an individual coaching course of five sessions. The following year, the middle managers followed the same programme. In addition, each year return days were organised for both groups and there were joint meetings. The Learnit trainer worked in close consultation with the management and created the awareness among employees that good performance of employees is not self-evident, but largely depends on effective leadership.
To create a more open working atmosphere, attention was paid to coaching leadership and motivating employees by actively listening and asking open questions. Dealing effectively with tension between employees and with emotions in the workplace were also given an important place in the training. Years after the training, Learnit Training is still closely involved with the organisation and supports the employees in various areas with training and coaching.
"As usual, we are extremely satisfied with the content of the training and the professional way in which it was delivered by the trainer."
"The trainer knows our company and our people and uses this in an excellent way to maximise the return on training."