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Tips and Tactics -- A Little More on Training

After blogging about training earlier this week, I had an opportunity last night to watch what might have been one of the better training sessions I've seen in some time.  To protect the innocent and hide the identity of all involved (other than me), I will only divulge that the training session was youth-sports-related.  As a parent, I have done more than my share of coaching kids' sports.  I have also had the opportunity to see plenty of other youth coaches at work.  The topic being taught last night was how to hit a softball.  I've seen dozens of other coaches present the same general information to groups of kids.  What differed between the session last night and all the others was the approach used for the teaching.  Here are the key things I saw that might be helpful in providing training to others:

  1. Break down the task being taught into each of its core component steps.  Isolate each one and teach it thoroughly before moving on to the next step in the process.
  2. Stop along the way to explain what you are telling the audience.  If you use terminology, make sure they understand those terms and how they apply to your topic.
  3. Engage your group and obtain feedback.  This will allow you to evaluate whether you are effectively conveying your points to your audience.
  4. Once you have isolated and taught the individualized steps, roll it all up into one package and present the process from start to finish.  Summarize what you have taught them and explain how each step fits into the overall task.
  5. If practical, observe the trainee group as they try to apply the skills.  Point out what they do well and then point out things they can do better for improvement.  (This step may be something that takes part in a separate setting and over the weeks following the training session depending on the topic being taught.)

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Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
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Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
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Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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