There are many tools for analyzing training needs. However, most of us will not be involved in the exhaustive analysis. (The truth is, once you start, it is difficult to know where to stop, and what initially may seem like a fairly clear and simple exercise becomes complicated.)
(The truth is, once you start, it is difficult to know where to stop, and what initially seems like a fairly clear and simple exercise can become complicated.)
However, a useful rule of thumb is to measure your training against three simple words, based on Boydell and Leary's three 'I's - 'Implementing, Improving, and Innovating'.
Taking into account the level and expectation of the students and the needs of the organisation, which of those 'I's most closely fits the level at which to pitch your training?
So, for example, you are running a training session on Staff Appraisals:
Based on the participants in the room and the current company situation, are you:
Situation: There is no effective appraisal system, so the training is focused on establishing one.
Relationship: It is likely that the trainer will do most of the leading in this session.
Attitude: The trainer's ideas are the 'most significant' ideas.
Situation: There is an appraisal system, but it needs an overhaul.
Relationship: The trainer needs to involve the students in discussion to find out the perceived limitations and how best to improve the situation.
Attitude: The students' ideas are now an important part of the solution.
Situation: There may or may not be an appraisal system, but we must develop something original.
Relationship: In this case, the trainer may need to step back and become a facilitator, allowing the students the freedom to explore their creativity
Attitude: Everyone's ideas are equally valuable - however unorthodox.
This type of assessment could even work as a guide in my own field of Public Speaking.
The students have little experience and confidence, in which case the trainer needs to provide most of the techniques and ideas.
(I¹ - Implementing)
The students are competent speakers but need advice and guidance on improving, but will expect recognition that they have their own ideas, strategies, and experiences to build on.
The students are experienced and comfortable in public, know the basics, and are now looking for that little something extra to develop their presentations into something striking and memorable.
The three 'I's are a simple way to help establish a suitable starting context for training.
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