Trainers… Get Rid Of Unprofessional Communication Habits Once And For All.
Have you ever wondered why some people don’t seem to be able to build rapport with a group of people in a room?
There may be many reasons why this is happening but almost certainly some of it will be down to how we interact and communicate with the group during the event.
We can often fall into some bad habits over time that inhibits a learner’s ability, or even motivation, to communicate with us effectively.
These bad habits may have been picked up over the years and only go to assist in distancing the relationship between you and your learners rather than glue or bond you all together.
Through my own mistakes in the past and observing other Trainers and Coaches in action I have drawn up a short list of Communication Tips to help you fine tune your rapport building capability.
Applying or modifying one or two of the suggestions below will improve the communication climate you help to foster in the Training Room and add some valuable weight to your Trainers Toolkit.
Me! Me! Me!
People have equal rights and that goes for the rights of talking v listening. Let your delegates have their say and encourage debate and discussion from the group.
Face in the right direction… not the projection screen, the flip chart or the floor. Show everyone what a warm and fortunate face you have.
Presenter in Boots!
Training people is about drama! So spice up your animation, gestures, pitch and tone but refrain from acting the fool and putting on an act. They will see through the pantomime.
I can see you are breathing there!
Before saying something, think about the reason and value of saying it. Polite conversation and chat is useful but avoid stating the obvious like describing out loud what a delegate is doing as if it was a useful question. “So you’re having another coffee then?”
Who, What, When, Where, How, Why, Which…???
Check for understanding often. It’s really important to ask questions that ensure you know they got it but don’t make people look or feel stupid.
Crouching Tiger friendly Dragon
When circulating the room and getting involved in group discussions try crouching down to a level lower than the delegates eye level and notice the difference in how relaxed they are compared to maintaining a superior and dominating look down approach.
Trainer ate my handbag!
Before starting the day or a development session really work on your headline. What’s going to grab the attention of your audience and get them interested in the topic. The first couple of sentences will sell the session but the story needs to unfold so how will you keep them hooked to the storyline throughout the day.
Build in “cliff-hangers” before refreshment breaks so delegates are keen to get back and hear / see more.
Hey… thingy over there said!
If training strangers make sure you have remembered everyone’s name by the first coffee break. Although a struggle I have managed over 40 names in that short space of time. Make sure they know you know.
Kidnap without ransom!
If you hijack a conversation during exercises, activities and learning discussions then make sure you return those poor hostages back to the time and the topic at the exact point you kidnapped them.
Share the love!
Try to avoid having favourites in the room. Share your time, energy and passion with everyone on the event in equal measure.
Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind. If something is not working out or someone not behaving in a way conducive to a learning environment then better out than in. Imagine putting on an overcoat that makes you feel and deal with things in a professional matter of fact way.
Sticks and stones do break bones…
…but words can be lethal in a training room. So, be very careful and use wisely. Remember feelings, types of personality and differences in culture and personal values and beliefs.
Can we move on!
Don’t feel pressurised to talk about things (outside of the learning remit) that make you feel uncomfortable in front of the group.
Lose the gritted teeth!
Respond to questions, feedback and answers with enthusiasm even if it is killing you to do so.
Be yourself don’t go all posh or professor like. People like real people. Like you.
I told you so!
Use advice sparingly. Learners are very adept at coming up with solutions when required.
Summarise regularly so they know you have got it and you are on the ball. Highlight key learnings and insights at the right points.
Don’t go over the same point again.
It gets tedious.
By Jason @ Ican Development.
This blog also features as an article in the Training Magazine Europe. www.trainingmagazineeurope.com