A trainer needs to make efforts to remove factors that negatively impact training, such as biases, lack of communication, and distractions.
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Nothing impacts training as badly as a negative training environment, or a badly managed one. Even if the trainer and the quality of the training material is excellent, the environment in which training is delivered impacts how the learners judge the training session and how much they learn from it. To ensure that training is conducted in the perfect environment for learning, trainers must do the following:
- Identify and remove any biases based on learning capacity, educational background, job profile, etc. of the participants.
- Make sure that communication happens among participants, and between the trainer and the participants, without any group politics, personal biases, bullying, etc.
- Remove all distractions from the training area.
- Ensure that the placement of furniture assists learning.
- Encourage participants to feel comfortable by being comfortable yourself.
Along with the physical aspects that impacts a training session, the mannerism, attitude and style of training of the trainer heavily affects how trainees respond. For instance, being humorous during training indicates openness to the trainees so that they get encouraged to interact with the trainer more freely. Even though most trainers, through experience, understand the needs of the trainees, there are some things that a trainer needs to take care to avoid. These are:
- Segregating trainees according to status (job profile, learning capacity). Segregation builds walls and encourages trainees to see differences rather than similarities
- Forcing participants in any manner. Instead of forcing participants to engage or learn, methods and techniques must be used to make them naturally feel eager to do something that you want them to do. Forcing of any kind can make participants resist or retreat.
- Using negative words or connotations. The use of negative words and phrases, such as ‘weak learners’, ‘bad scores’, ‘doing badly’, or ‘not good’, creates a negative and demotivating training environment. It can make some learners feel inferior to others.
- Being too informal/casual, or too formal/authoritative. If you are too informal with the participants, they may not follow your instructions. On the other hand, if you are overly formal, they may not feel comfortable enough to share their views in the class.
- Giving trainees the control. Even when allowing trainees to participate, you must not give them complete control over the activities. Your supervision is necessary to maintain discipline and system in the class.
- Comparing participants or results. Making comparisons of any kind between participants or their learning outcomes can damage their interpersonal relationship and/or self-confidence. Care must be taken to provide a fair system that is free from judgmental attitudes and biases.
For a successful training session where each participant is happy with the training, the creation and maintenance of the right training atmosphere becomes crucial. The training environment creates the first and the lasting impression on trainees.
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