Let’s start with an interesting question. What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘training’? A day or two off work or isolation in a secure place where one or more facilitators stand before you to talk you through things or is seating quietly with your computer and listening to a recorded session or facilitator-led class carefully talks you through an issue with solutions. Do you have any other answers?
One thing that would possibly run through our different answers is the fact that training would involve or entail the sharing of knowledge and experiences. The facilitator manages the process and everyone involved gets to learn something new and or hone current skills.
Training often involves an expert facilitating the process of the exchange that takes place, based on their past experiences and knowledge in the required technical field, and the use of a case study helps to elicit critical knowledge from participants. They get to work together and provide full answers to business and other reasons for the training.
The above features are all true, but it doesn’t cover the true strength and potential of a modern training program. Nowadays training programs are held like an interactive discussion; every participant is given an equal amount of time to contribute and everyone learns from each other and not just the facilitator alone. In an interactive training session, participants share their professional, business, and career problems as well as the processes they followed to solve the problem. This makes learning experiential and complete for everyone, including the facilitators.
Why attend training? This is another question we must ask and provide a simple but relatable answer. Training must have an achievable goal it must be clear what must be demonstrated in terms of consistency to show that it is complete and successful. So, it is important to set clear targets, use the best person to deliver the training, and monitor by paying attention to their knowledge and enthusiasm as a way of knowing of establishing that the trainees are taking in the knowledge and skills.
If training is conducted correctly, it becomes a business consultation where participants tender their problems, and then solutions are provided. These solutions may be in form of direct answers or past and present experiences from other participants or facilitators. Some participants have worked away from a training with an idea and or concept that became the basis of their success story today. What looked like a silent contribution turns out to become the very cornerstone of the business that has just been created.
The main reason organizations send their staff for training is to make them more productive and if the results after are favorable, the business thrives. An entrepreneur will attend training to improve his/her critical thinking, planning, and implementation skills. All participants have different reasons for attending training, but one thing they have in common is that they want to leave as better versions of themselves professionally and personally.
As an example, I will use our recently concluded ‘Business Development Masterclass’. The Masterclass is an ‘Open’ training where participants come from different organizations and industries to attend. This Masterclass had various segments, touching on the basic components of business development – marketing, sales, customer relationship, project management, and personal effectiveness. Participants attend and leave the training with a wealth of knowledge and skills both within and outside their industries and even culture. It was supposed to be training but it ended up serving as a platform to conceive, develop and test ideas. Isn’t this what consulting is about? Participants share personal experiences and stories that could help solve other participants’ current challenges. The feedback after the Masterclass has been great, with participants already implementing the new knowledge they gained. After each training, we also provide a form of mentorship and create milestones for the participants as this serves as a way of ticking all the goals they set before and after the Masterclass training.
It is important to see training past the usual lectures and case studies. It has evolved to where participants get premium consultation from the wonderful experience. It is interesting to note that training also serves as a form of networking because you may not always be capable of solving the challenges in your business and sometimes, the solution can be another individual in the next training program you attend. The next time you hear the word training, think consulting.
Author: Titilope Agbaje