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Monica Wofford is a professional speaker, trainer, author and executive coach. Her expertise is in developing leadership skills as seen here in Australia. For more information, go to www.MonicaWofford.com or call 1-866-382-0121

Are you training employees how to treat you or simply training them to leave you because you fail to follow up and ensure their skill development measures up to your specific standards?

This Monday Moment is about training, on purpose and not, in class and off the cuff. The idea sprang from the back to school season approaching fast, because that is when a leader’s mindset shifts to more of a training class. Much as we’ve been conditioned to do for years, we start thinking about what we need to learn, in this case, to improve results for the 4th quarter. Anyone who’s progressed through 12 years of school has been trained to think this way as a general rule. The same, however, is true for how you train employees how to treat you. What are they conditioned to expect? What do they already know you will do and say and how have they learned to work around you for their own sake?

Training You Do Off the Cuff

These are the moments that occur in the hall when a leader simply says “hey, stop doing that”, followed a silent “that’ll be all”. It’s informal, off the cuff and often, spur of the moment, but it leaves an impact. To put a name to this type of training, it would be most often called “drive by coaching” or a simple impromptu discussion. But more important than the name is what it does to those you lead. Off the cuff training that is unrecorded, does not include any support materials or visuals, and is shared out of context from anything else, will last about as long as that fleeting moment that just passed. Be cautious with training employees to walk the other way when they see you in the hall, for fear they’ll get an earful of data they can’t remember, for which you will still at some point hold them accountable. Instead, spend dedicated time to schedule a sit down discussion or send an email follow up after your hallway encounter.

Training You Do in the Form of a Class

Training, by definition, is the transfer of knowledge and skill. It can occur over time through a series of repeated actions and behaviors, others will notice as habits and begin to expect, or it can occur very much on purpose in a training class environment. The dynamics of a training classroom, much like those we encountered in school, should prepare an adult mind for learning. For example, when we provide a live leadership training course, there are workbooks with visuals, training materials, and items for kinesthetic learners to use to keep their attention and focus. In online training courses we implement a variety of engagement methods to prevent multi-tasking and ensure participants capture each and every take away available. We train adults how to learn, but in addition to that, this form of training is often far better outsourced, than left up to your own devices. Train them to pay attention. Train them to improve performance. And if you need help training them, in general, we’re here to help at www.ContagiousCompanies.com.

Training Follow Up that Makes Skills Last

When that valued team member that you’ve either coached in the hall or set up a training program for them to attend, returns to the office or their desk, what do you do? How do you follow up with them to make sure the skillset sticks? You see, training in the classroom or on the computer is not where skill building ends. The effective leader conducts a follow up meeting to find out what was learned and more importantly asks what will be applied. Train those you lead how to treat you by making your presence known after they’ve gained new skills. This shows your level of interest and more importantly, trains employees to be prepared to meet you, as well as be equipped with nuggets of wisdom to tell you during that meeting.

Training is an invaluable element of leadership growth and a critical stage of employee development. It begins with new hire onboarding and then continues throughout the employee’s career, or should. If they’ve been with you a week or ten years, training them how to treat you is where the most influential behavior changing efforts take place. Get this part down and influence them to understand what you mean and what you want them to do, will then increase their interest in learning from others, including trainers, different than you.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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