The Director of the Training Council opened the instructor development course congratulating the soon-to-be instructors on their selection for attendance. “You have entered a new level of your career. As an instructor, you represent management and to be successful you must be convincing as you present your training material to employees.” The Director could have said as instructors and trainers you are leaders. Even without the title, people selected by any organization to conduct training, whether members of the organization, or outside consultants, are leaders of that organization.
Training is intended to change behaviors by influencing employees to conduct their activities in accordance with the procedures presented. The best definitions of leadership include descriptions of influencing others, providing motivation, sharing a vision or improving the organization. Trainers do all these things.
Anytime the official leaders of an organization introduce change they typically provide some sort of training program. The training describes the desired change ensuring employees understand the new philosophy and can complete new processes. Frequently formal leaders, sometimes called managers, are called upon to conduct the training, but not always. How the trainer presents the material will either improve acceptance and success or result in rejection of ideas by employees and failure of the concept in practice. Training presented passionately in favor increases success and the trainer’s profile with senior leaders.
Selection as an instructor gives line employees on opportunity to develop an appreciation for the vision of the top leaders in the organization. Most employees know where the organization is, but few at the bottom of the organizational chart really understand where the CEO wants to go. Becoming involved in the training infrastructure of an organization requires employees to take a few steps up the ladder improving their view of the destination. Employees who have demonstrated an ability to influence others in a positive fashion are more likely to be selected by managers to conduct organizational change training. Selection as a trainer provides an opportunity to learn more about the organizational culture and help senior leaders determine if those employees demonstrate abilities required to fulfill future leadership positions. Employees seeking ways to open the doors to formal leadership positions look for opportunities to teach and train. Often employees may be unaware their desire to teach mark them as future leaders, and all too often managers overlook those in training roles when leadership positions become available.
If your eyes are raised higher up the organizational ladder here are several ways you can improve your chances of becoming a trainer and attracting the attention of you bosses. After attending a training, mention to your supervisor you would like an opportunity to present what you learned to others in your section at your next staff meeting. Once you receive approval, mention the training to some of your contacts in other sections or shifts. Their interest may draw them to the meeting increasing your exposure. A successful meeting may result in requests from others in the organization. Think about professional organizations for your career field and material you are qualified to present. Meeting attendance is improved when someone is scheduled to speak about a cutting edge topic. You may not receive any pay for your appearance, but the movers and shakers in the group will recognize your contribution and when the time comes to move along or they need to fill a leadership position you will be recognized as one with expertise.
Trainers influence organizational culture and behavior. Learning to train others provides junior employees opportunities to show their leaders they possess skills to influence others and an ability to communicate important ideas and concepts. By creating quality training programs, trainers help management introduce important organizational changes focused on improvement. Standing in front of the crowd provides the trainer a spotlight to demonstrate their ability to organization leaders to influence others. As a trainer you are a leader in your organization. Change a life; change your organization; take time to train others and become a leader.
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