An interesting training experience

I delivered an interesting course a few weeks ago.

I’ve delivered others since, you understand, but this one was brought back to my mind earlier today for reasons that will, slowly but surely, reveal themselves during the course of this blog.

Some years ago we were recruiting a new trainer.  Contrary to popular opinion training is a professional discipline in its own right, i.e. you have to have some talent for it in the first place and then you have to develop and hone your skills to become really good at it.  And it’s all routed in psychology.  And you have to have the right personality.  And… well, you get the point.

I was, therefore, somewhat surprised when we received a CV from a lorry driver who had been made redundant, applying for the job as Sales Training Consultant with our business.  I just had to give him a ring to see if I was missing something:

Me:       Have you ever had a training role before?

Him:     No, I was a truck driver until last week when I was made redundant.

Me:       Okay, do you have any experience of training?

Him:     Nope… I was a truck driver.

Me:       Okay, have you any experience of sales, selling and/or the psychology of sales.

Him:     Nope, I drove trucks.

Me:       Ooookkkkkaaaayyyyyyy.  Why have you applied?

Him:     ‘Cos I’ve got the gift of the gab.

Me:       Goodbye.

I’ve just had the self same situation, only with more subtleties.  Nevertheless, it was the same.

A guy came on one of our management development events a few months ago but has subsequently been made redundant.  No great shakes there, given the economy and whatnot – there’s a lot of it about.

He was a nice guy, contributed fully and seemed to enjoy it… the course that is, not being made redundant.  Suffice it to say, though, his area of experience was not training; it was technical.

I was a bit surprised to get an email from him today explaining that he was going out on his own – contracting.  I immediately assumed he meant in his technical capacity.  But no; as I read on I discovered this was not the case.  He explained that he’d found the course interesting, tough and thought provoking and so he’s decided to give training a go.

The email continues by asking if there were opportunities with Derigo and he’d certainly be prepared to do a free trial to ‘explore potential’.

Now, like I said, he was a nice guy but not really a trainer or a facilitator, but like so many people, he thought it was easy and so he’d give it a crack.

Why is it the everyone thinks they can do it?  I’ve been at it for fifteen years and I still worry that I’m not the finished article yet.


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  1. Richard, your story reminds me of a BNI meeting where somebody stood up and said his job and business he was pitching for was not difficult. In fact, anybody could do it. Of course, and I hasten to add it was not me, somebody asked why we should pay him to do it!
    Many of us think our jobs are easy, but doing them well is not so easy. Anybody can train another person, to a degree, but poor training can lead to disaster, hence, yes your techie man could be a trainer, but experience, knowledge, reputation, clients etc cannot just be found, they take years of hard work. It will be interesting to see how the chap gets on. Good luck to him for having the courage to go alone, and of course, well done to you for sowing seeds in his head. Perhaps that came about due to your decades of fine quality training!