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ASK, NOT TELL

....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning

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‘Is it good to be a trainer?’

Updated: Mar 13

I was asked this question very often. Most asked me this because they are considering becoming one. To me, the answer is ‘Yes’. But to them, there is no simple ‘Yes / No’ answer. Let me share the pros and cons as I perceive. It may or may not be applicable to you. But hope that they can give you some insight:


Pros


Continuous Learning – Teaching is the best way to learn something. For example, thanks to being a SPIN trainer, I have been acquiring the questioning skills effectively. Whenever I want to influence, I will consider the option of asking rather than telling.


Traveling – I love travelling so long as it is not too excessive. You may find it weird – I like to be in the airports observing people from all walks of life. And I like working on the plane where I absolutely get no interruption.


Focus – Though I can multi-task, I need time when I can focus on doing one thing. I focus on facilitating when I am in the training room. There is no phone call, no email, nobody coming to your desk in the training room. I do not get disrupted. It allows me to think through topics with my learners.


Group Learning Environment – I simply love facilitating group process. And in some sense, I feel that I am gifted to observe well and give clear instructions.


Cons


Sustainability – Depending on the topics you specialize in, you will become out-dated with your training topics as time goes. For example, it will be the case if you focus at product knowledge. After a few years, you will lose touch with the products available in the market. And you will no longer have live and updated stories to tell.


Traveling – Sometimes, I travel more than I want.


Inflexibility – It is another side of the coins – You cannot multi-task in the classroom. You cannot answer phone call from your stock-broker or real estate agent. More importantly, if anything bad happens to your family members, you may not be informed at once. Even if you are informed, you cannot just leave to attend the matter.


Generally Lower Return – An in-house trainer generally earns less than what a frontline counterpart does. In the industry I work in, the internal trainers generally earn less than the salespersons.

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