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Do Trainer needs to understand


Hi All
The following question was asked at a Organiational Behaviour course I attented.

Do trainers need to understand themselves thoroughly before they can train others?

I would be interested in peoples views on this subject.

Mick Haven

7 Responses

  1. Trainers understanding themselves…
    I believe a trainer should understand themselves before delivering training, whatever the subject, but I would remove the word “thoroughly”. I work with developing trainers and have noticed that once an awareness-raising journey begins it continues, and it’s this healthy curiosity that seems to make good trainers. I think the level of thoroughness cannot be quantified as people are constantly changing.
    It’s a brilliant question and, if I may, I’d like to borrow it with pride on my trainer development course!
    Nicola Dawson
    01273 298356

  2. Arian Associates Ltd
    We agree with the comments below.
    But think it is much more important to understand the subject matter that you are delivering, although by understanding oneself the delivery performance has got to be more interesting.

  3. It depends what you mean by “thoroughly”
    As others have commented, I am convinced that anyone operating in the personal develeopment arena has a need to be pretty aware of their own preferences/biases/metamodel preferences/whatever if they are to be able to interact effectively with others at a personal level. The routes to this understanding (“thorough” seems to me to be a relative term – after 20 years of working on myself I reckon to have a pretty good understanding of what make me tick and how my behaviour helps/hinders interaction with others, yet I would not regard it as a “thorough” self-knowledge)are manifold, potentially starting with the sort of psychometrics commonly available and/or NLP (yes, I am a fan – after all, at one level it is ‘just’ modelling excellence).

    Conversely, if the role you occupy requires relatively transactional skills-based training, then I reckon that the need for self-awareness is lower. All the same, an awareness of one’s personal preferences for learning style, language patterns and the like can only help you to help your trainees by avoiding overplaying YOUR preferred styles to the detriment of matching THEIRS.

    Geoff Roberts
    01274 667130
    [email protected]

  4. CPD?
    An interesting question. I suspect that it depends on whether you are a specialist subject trainer (e.g. finance) or a generalist, particularly those involved in interpersonal skills areas. I think you probably perform better (as some others have indicated) if you know your own strengths, weaknesses and preferences. However any trainer should be undertaking some CPD and that should mean looking at and developing self. How “thorough” you are???? Jenny

  5. No
    This is an interesting question. Many trainees look at us as “the ones with all answers”
    But my answer to your question would be no. I think “understading oneself throughly” is a big endaveour and if we would follow this logic many of us would not train at all. I think that on each training not only we train participants we train ourselves. It is never ending story.


  6. How to adapt to everybody’s learning style if we do not know our
    I definitely believe that trainers should know themselves, their preferred learning and communication styles. Knowing that we are an theorist learner with a preference for visual communication tool is a strength we can confortably build upon when talking to a similar audience. It also raises the flag that we need to make a conscious effort to adapt to those who are activist and auditory…Some basic NLP or transactional analysis stuff could support any argument in favour of your comment…

  7. Understanding yourself
    It was an interesting question! I would say the answer for us certainly is Yes as without a level of maturity/awareness it is impossible to assess how the trainee is learning. That includes self awareness and a degree of your own self knowledge. Also it is essential to be able to empathasise with your trainees and understand them as people to be able to determine their optimum training methods.

    Knowledge of others comes with being comfortable with yourself and being able to facilitate development in others without fear or feeling threatened by their newly acquired knowledge.That requires an in depth knowledge of self.

    I hope this helps!

    Training by Design Global Ltd


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