Changing Focus from Training to Learning
Training is easy, right? Look around and you’ll find hundreds of trainers and a variety of coaches listed on many professional and social websites. Like insurance, now everyone has someone in their circle who is a life coach or some kind of trainer. Hence the conclusion, “Training is easy”.
What about “Learning”, is it equally easy? May be not! I feel it is really important to have continuous professional development programmes for all the trainers and coaches, not certifications, but continuous professional development programmes. L&D professionals must start spending time on learning new ways of learning. Only then, new ways of training or coaching will start reflecting in their offerings. It is really important to start using this as one of the factors while evaluating an L&D professional, both internal or external. HR or L&D teams in corporates help the whole organisation learn new skills and / or behaviour to be successful as a professional and a high performing team. However, if I ask when was the last time the L&D team attended a programme tailored for them….I get blanks.
We were taught that a successful coach must be coachable, but ironically all the coaches wants to just coach and not get coached, specially after they get their certification. And trainers just wants to be trainers or speakers but not students or listeners. Getting audience for a trainers event is extremely difficult as everyone wants to be a speaker and do not wish to sit in the audience.
Now, for professional development, I do not mean that you attend a course or get certified. It really means that you learn what is happening around you, where is the business world going, what are new trends, not just in L&D space, but in variety of sectors. It may simply mean attending seminars on Technology, finance, marketing or any domain because requirement of continuous development of employees is across the board. Once we start understanding their direction, challenges, and culture, we may start understanding their learning needs and style. Once we start learning the terms and language they use, we can start managing our programme delivery accordingly to make it most effective and engaging.
Understanding this, some of the companies have dedicated HR partners for individual departments so that better understanding can be developed and better support can be provided. But external trainers and coaches don’t get that opportunity, and that’s why they have to start focusing on learning, a lot related to business domains and keep up with the pace of change, so that they stay relevant.