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Making the complicated simple

Posted by netrix
Published on 23 October 2022

A suggestion for how to measure good training:

Does the other person understand what you are trying to say?

If I come away from a training thinking:

'That trainer is brilliant, but I am still trying to figure out what I should be doing.'

That is an unsuccessful outcome.

A slightly cynical view of some training consultants is that they deliberately overcomplicate, in the same way, as a couple of years ago, a government select committee on the use of 'simple English' concluded that at times the main aim of a politician is precisely not to be understood.

Nevertheless, a successful training session should be more like watching Roger Federer playing tennis than watching a plate spinner.

It should all look simple.

Only when you get onto the tennis court, do you realize there is more to it than you first thought.

A quote attributed to Mark Twain (amongst others) captures it well:

'I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter. I didn't have time to write you a short one,'

the point is that creating a sense of ease and simplicity takes time and effort.

It takes creativity and intelligence to distil the content of a training program down to its critical parts.

To be able to say to your students:

'In the end, it all comes down to 'this!' - giving the students the key that unlocks the rest of the process.

It may be a paradox, but we naturally feel that someone who can sum up the complex in a few words has greater mastery over their subject, whereas someone who uses lots of words and makes everything seem complicated loses out on two counts.

Firstly, the student may not completely understand what to do, and secondly, the trainer may not be entirely in charge of their material.

It is an essential sales principle that 'people who are confused do nothing'.

Therefore, if you want your students to take positive action, it is the trainer's job to make the next steps clear:

'This is what you will be able to do.'

'This is why you will need to do it',

(and most important at this stage.)

'This is how you do it.'

You have given 'what and 'why', but as the student leaves the room, they need to understand 'how' they will achieve it.

Therefore an actual test of successful communication is not simply:

'Do I understand?'
'Do I know what to do next?'

Once it is evident in your mind, it will become apparent to your students.

If you want to enhance your professional skill set or help an employee on the road to success, enrol on our 2-day Training The Trainer courses. The course is ideal for new trainers coming into the industry, as well as experienced trainers looking for opportunities to improve their CV and career prospects. Book a place on this 2-day course for just £795 + VAT


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