Ability to Train and Teach

Ability to Train and Teach

ability to problem solve iconAbility in both trainer/teacher and learner is built step by step using higher and lower level mental, physical and attitudinal objectives from the 3 domains of learning.

Ability consists of 3 parts: knowledge, skill and attitude. All parts must work together for successful training. Domains of LearningThe domains of learning, cognitive, psychomotor and affective are roadmaps to understanding why training may not always be effective and to learn methods to increase efficacy.

In our online store we ship products to customers. When we hire a new person for shipping, the individual undergoes thorough instruction that requires computer training (taking the order from the website, processing and recording it in QuickBooks), physical skills (safe packaging), problem solving and decision making skills (choosing the most economical box, packing material and shipping method for the product) and the ability to follow procedures to ensure that the right customer receives the right order (understanding and attentiveness).

Ideally we would hire a person who already has all these skills. However, sometimes they appear to have them but in reality they may lack some skills. This is typical in business. You hire who you can get or hire because the person really needs a job, or…. The result is that additional training is usually required.  My ability as a trainer is to pinpoint where skills are missing and to focus training on facilitating development of those skills. That means I must look at all aspects of learning.

Some of the skills required are:

  • Ability to understand and follow procedures according to the procedures manual
  • Ability to recognize situations which require special attention not covered in the manual
  • Ability to make decisions with regards to type of box, type of carrier (Post office, UPS..)
  • Ability to focus and not become distracted while putting together an order
  • Ability to remember to double check each order
  • Ability to manage time and efficiency with orders
  • Ability to enter data in ecommerce and QuickBooks

(you get my drift)

afraidI once had an employee who did a thorough job with all aspects of shipping, except that it would take her a full hour to complete one order, which should normally take 20 minutes. She had the knowledge (cognitive domain) and the skill (psychomotor domain), but something was missing, so I looked at the affective domain. The employee was afraid to make a mistake. I discovered that a past employer kept threatening to fire her if she made even one mistake. She was checking and rechecking her work over and over again.  Explaining to her that I would not fire her for one mistake didn’t help the situation. I initiated a training program for her that allowed her  to make a variety of mistakes in a simulated setting and to correct them herself. She was then able to reframe her perspective about making mistakes and to perform her work more efficiently.

Another employee would basically attack the computer, punching buttons, getting into areas of QuickBooks that I didn’t even know existed and never wanted to see again. binary computerI was constantly recovering lost data. This employee was overconfident and instead of thinking things through (cognitive analysis and synthesis), she just kept pushing buttons. Training for her combined both computer and attitudinal training to get her to understand that ‘more and faster’ is not necessarily suitable when working with computer data. Unfortunatley that training did not overcome her ‘faster is better’ mentality and she found a more suitable position.

Not all people can be trained to do the job you want, but everyone deserves your best training methods. CFAL helps you organize your training and gives you the framework to identify exactly where training isn’t working for someone so you may correct it.

Suggested Resources

How to Develop Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career – Indeed

The skill of developing skills – World Bank Blogs