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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Training Clients Need Personal Relationships

e-mails and texts may be making you less effective with your clients

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

Effective training services within your organization depend mightily on the relationships you have with your clients, the departments and managers for whom you create and deliver that training. First of all, a lot of training is in some sense optional, meaning that you have to sell those clients on the benefits to them of providing the training. While there are many corporate functions that are simply required, that is not the case for the majority of training activities.

In the second place, every professional trainer knows that support, direct and indirect, from the supervisors and managers of training participants makes a world of difference. A good relationship with those management staff is one of the most powerful tools you can apply to enhance the impact of the training that is delivered.

All of this suggests that having a personal connection to the people who "buy" and support your training efforts is a powerful determinant of your ability to contribute to the success of your company. Knowing your clients as people, not just in terms of "deliverables" and logistics, can make all the difference in the role you play within your organization, and whether that role expands in scope and in trust across other parts of the company.

Unfortunately, maintaining relationships gets harder even as it gets easier to be in frequent contact with others. While the quantity of "touches," if you will, may be skyrocketing as people are "always connected" to work in some way, the quality of those contacts is plummeting for many in the training business.

Look at the interactions you have with key managers, people whose staff you are training in various ways. How often do you talk to them face to face? How often on the phone?

Compare that with how often you e-mail them, or text them. E-communication is fast, convenient, and ... a bit hollow, shall we say. It gets work done, it handles practical matters efficiently.

But it does not build relationships, and especially for the training department, that is essential to the work, too.

And it tends to lose a ton of useful data. When you can read body language as you discuss a new training project, when you can pick up unspoken concerns, or when the conversation helps you detect how the culture of a particular department needs to be taken into account, you are much more likely to develop and deliver training activities that truly serve your internal clients.

Great training that truly helps a company comes out of people working together. Not just e-people, real people, in real interactions. Given that training is all about communication, make sure your communication habits have not swung so far toward "convenience" and "efficiency" that they are sacrificing impact and valuable information along the way.

© 2012 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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