It’s all worth it in the end…

It has been said (although not by me, obviously) that trainers can have prima donna type tendencies.

After all, why would anyone choose to spend their life standing in front of groups of people who, at least 50% of the time, don’t want to be there, tend to be challenging and question everything said? Unless, of course, it’s for the attention and adoration… which, it has to be said, very rarely comes.

There is a counter argument that says trainers do it for the love of learning, the chance to help people develop and their talent and ability to get a message across.

Whichever reason it is that a trainer is a trainer, it’s definitely nice to get some positive… erm…. re-enforcement every so often.

Last week was a point in case for me.

I was running a week long course which I had delivered many times before. It always goes down well but this week, although no-one was saying it, seemed slightly ‘flatter’ than usual in that the group just didn’t seem to be bonding as well as it usually did.

I worried about this for the first half of the week until I reached Thursday when I asked the group to complete a learning styles questionnaire. And, lo and behold, my answer was laid out before me!

Learning Styles makes an assumption that people have a preferred style for learning. It’s not that they can’t learn using other styles, it’s just that they prefer their own method. The four learning styles are:

  • Activists
  • Pragmatists
  • Theorists
  • Reflectors

Activists tend to dive in to a task without much thought for planning, but they do get the job done. Pragmatists tend to plan a bit before diving in. Reflectors think about it and make sure they have the right plan and Theorists get a book on planning and make sure their plan is constructed in the right way!

Activists, on a course, are those that do all the shouting out; no sooner have they thought something than it’s out of their mouth and into the open. The other side of the coin is that a Reflector will think about what’s being said and wait until a question has occurred to them, they’ve analysed it, decided it’s not stupid and then they ask – often a day later…

Usually there’s a good mix of learning styles, but on this course they were all Reflectors! No wonder there was little shouting out and ‘joining in’!

It was only at the end of the week the guys on the course told me how much they’d enjoyed it, got a lot out of it, etc., etc. One was even kind enough to write to me to tell me… bet he thought about it long and hard!

Having said that, and in all seriousness, it was very much appreciated and salient reminder to make sure I know the group before pressing the panic button.

By the way, I’ll let you decide why I’m a trainer… you pick from the two reasons at the head of this blog!

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