Blog Archives

Faith in Trainer Required

Today I started to learn how to ride a motor-bike. Having not done this since I was 14years old, it required some effort. The biggest effort was to believe what the instructor told me to do and not fear falling over and breaking my neck. But why would I believe him? Transfering this question to my own training environments, I’m wondering: What is the role (for participants) of faith in the trainer…?


So here’s the thing: I am supposed to turn a 250kg machine through a tight figure-of-8 at no speed (and little momentum) without it dropping on my legs.. instructor said: “All you have to do is look where you are going and trust that the bike won’t fall over.” But why on Earth would I believe him?


Reason number 1: Authority + accreditation

  • He’s the man. So I believe him. He is certified by the Auto-Ecole and no-one else is responsible for training me, so I accept. Fortunately for me, I don’t have (too many) troubles with authority.

Reason number 2: I saw him do it, with ease and style

  • ..and indeed, it looked just like he said it should. Just point your eyes where you want to go and the massive heavy leg-breaking moving-parts machine won’t slip on the wet-road and crush your legs. So it works, right?

Reason number 3: The last thing he told me to do worked out just fine

  • This was the most important to me. If he had told me to do things that didn’t work for me, I wouldn’t have accepted reason number 1 anymore and I might have thought that reason number 2 was due to him being a demi-god and me not.


So: Why this blog? If you are a trainer and you want your participants to believe in you, consider this…

  • Get some authority. Either be THE certified man or get someone else to say you are the best (borrowed authority). This could be done with accreditation, previous trainee references (preferably from participants’ own colleagues) or with a short testimonial film during the start-up of your training.
  • Show the way with clear examples where the actions and behaviours you are asking for actually attain the desired results. Note my use of the verb “show”. Don’t just tell stories and make-believe. Prove it to them. (Without showing off !)
  • Make sure that when participants do things as they should that they KNOW they did it right. Giving clear feedback on positive performance will help them to know they are capable and believe even more what you say.


…which, considering the next things he asked me to do (at speed, in the rain) made a world of difference 🙂



Have fun!

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SoMe, SoWhat? (A Trainer’s Enquiry)

Social Media is here to stay. People are getting together watching, commenting and sharing. Some are even doing more.

The possibilities for a trainer are endless. No blog spot can list them all (although some do a reasonable job of getting started). But should you, the trainer, jump on the train or let it pass by?


Why use social media as a trainer?

I will admit, I’ve been seduced by the “fun” and “cool” of social media for training (and learning in general) but that is not a good reason to get involved.

Here are 3 GOOD reasons:

  • New participant audiences are doing it anyway (Generation Y), so if you want to adapt…
  • You can get your message or learning much more easily to more people by joining them where they are (instead of making them come to you)
  • You can create longer lasting impact outside of the classroom with limited additional investment


According to @JaneBozarth in her book “Social Media for Trainers” the effective use of SoMe strategies “can provide a big payoff for both learners and trainers”.

According to Karie Willyerd, it will be unacceptable to delivery learning in the future that DOES NOT “incorporate features that make hanging out on social sites compelling”.

But that doesn’t mean you have to use SoMe Tools – integrating features like “rating” and “commenting” into a classroom is easy…


But if you DO want to use SoMe as a trainer… What can you do?

In short, SoMe can be useful before, during and after training. In my opinion, with the technology and audiences I see today, most efficient ROI for integrating SoMe tools into training comes from the pre/post phase.

I’m not going to list here all different the tools and approaches I use for increasing the longevity of training with SoMe tools, but here are 6 simple things you could consider achieving:



  • Get people to introduce themselves, their needs and their questions to each other before they get to the room
  • Share a knowledge-resource on a given topic and a start-up conversation
  • Vote, survey or rate things that will be discussed in the room



  • Get people sharing references and resources after your training
  • Create a(n infinitely growing) group of participants from a particular course of content who can share and discuss best practices, worries and success stories
  • Make simple “piqures de rappel” months after the money and time spent in training is passed


Why not?

What are the reasons for NOT doing such things? Again – there are SO many!! Here are some of the reasons I hear from my colleagues and network:

  • “There is no added value”
  • “We will only make our own work as trainers redundant”
  • “People don’t want to do more after training”
  • “It takes too much time”
  • “I’m a trainer and training stops when the last participant leaves”
  • “My participants are not ON social media”
  • “I’m not ON social media”
  • “Tools like Facebook are dangerous”
  • “I don’t like sharing – I’m a private kind of person”
  • “My clients don’t let their people use YouTube and Twitter”


Why do I @dan_steer do it?


See you there?

…but not on Facebook (I’ll explain why if you come to the Trainer’s Lounge, 25th January with @kluweropleiding)