Well, not quite, but training is a professional discipline with its own rules, jargon, practices and professional body.
That’s why it always fascinates me why any Tom, Dick or Harry thinks they can ‘give it a go’.
But once again I’m starting the story in the middle, which is never good but which I often do.
We were recruiting for a new trainer relatively recently. We follow a pretty strict process which doesn’t usually involve collecting CVs but this time, for some reason, we did ask for resumes.
There was the usual mixture; some very good, with an ideal background and others not quite so, um, well suited for the role.
There was a particular CV from a guy who was a long distance lorry driver and had worked for one company for twenty years. In his covering email he told us that he’d just been made redundant and wanted a change.
Now, do bear in mind that we were recruiting a sales and management trainer who had to have both the experience of being a sales person, running sales teams and have been a trainer, too.
This CV was too perplexing… lorry driver (nothing wrong with that) applying for the role of sales and management trainer… I had to find out why he’d submitted his CV to us: so I rang him.
It turns out that he had no relevant experience whatsoever (at least he hadn’t lied on his CV) not even in his spare time.
‘Why did you send us your CV?’ I asked him.
‘Well, people are always telling me that I have the gift of the gab,’ says he in reply.
And that’s often the view people have of trainers, that they have the gift of the gab rather than being well trained, highly experienced and motivated individuals who have an in depth knowledge of both their chosen subject areas and the psychology of learning.
But, I have to say the problem is often that the perception is correct.
Relatively often I’m asked why we were able to expand throughout the recent recession. I believe (and it’s only my belief) that before the recession there was plenty of money about for training so just about anyone could set up, win a contract and make a living.
Then the recession came. Training can’t just stop but companies were looking for a proven track record and actual results, rather than a neat ‘idea’ for training. Contracts were awarded to trainers who could point to some actual successes and so we were able to continue to win business.
In short, then, it’s my belief that training is more than ‘the gift of the gab’. But then I would say that: I’m a trainer.