Resources - Education and Training

Conducting the Training

Make it Clear!

Now that you have completed all of the necessary preparation steps, the you're ready to begin conducting the training. To the extent possible, the training should be presented so that its organization and meaning are clear to the employees. To do so, you should:

  1. provide overviews of the material to be learned
  2. relate, wherever possible, the new information or skills to the employee’s goals, interests, or experiences
  3. reinforce what the employees learned by summarizing the program’s objectives and the key points of information covered.

These steps will assist in presenting the training in a clear, unambiguous manner. In addition to organizing the content, it's important to also develop the structure and format of the training. The content developed for the program, the nature of the workplace, and the resources available for training will help you determine the:

  • frequency of training activities,
  • length of the sessions,
  • instructional techniques
  • individual(s) best qualified to present the information

In order to be motivated, employees must be convinced of the importance and relevance of the material. Ways to develop motivation include:

  1. explaining the goals and objectives of instruction
  2. relating the training to the interests, skills and experiences of the employees
  3. outlining the main points to be presented during the training session(s)
  4. pointing out the benefits of training

Trainers as leaders

Leadership is a relationship skill, so let’s first explore some ideas about classroom leadership. The main point to remember is that a group of students is like any other group. It needs challenge and leadership to perform at its best. Following is a brief checklist that trainers can use to be sure they are providing good classroom leadership to build positive relationships between the trainer and students:

  1. Be sure your lessons are well planned.
  2. Have good knowledge of the subject being taught.
  3. Build your lessons on what the students already know about the subject.
  4. Let the students know what you expect of them.
  5. Motivate the students by telling them why they need the information being presented.
  6. Stimulate interest by using a variety of methods and materials wherever possible.
  7. Encourage student questions and discussion.
  8. Provide students with feedback and evaluation on how they are doing.
  9. Maintain a good appearance.
  10. Show enthusiasm for teaching and for the subject matter.

Managing the Training Environment

Management is an organizational skill, so let’s look at some concepts of good classroom management. Here the main point is that the environment must be positive and comfortable if the learning experience is to be productive.

  1. Select a “classroom” that is convenient, comfortable, and attractive.
  2. Be sure all the students can see and hear.
  3. See that the room is clean and orderly.
  4. Check for proper temperature and ventilation.
  5. Make sure the seats are properly arranged for the day's activities.
  6. Check all equipment to be sure it is working and in good repair.
  7. Be sure all materials are in proper order and ready to use.
  8. Arrange to keep distractions and outside interruptions to a minimum.
  9. Plan for frequent breaks.

The above checklists are far from all-inclusive, however, they should motivate trainers to think about their classroom leadership and management role.

Include Introductions Interesting

Thank the audience for coming to listen to the presentation. In fact, it's a good idea to do a little self-talk prior to the training session. Motivate yourself with positive affirmations that reflect a positive attitude about the training subject and your audience. You've got to... "pump yourself up!"

First of all, thank everyone for coming out to the training. Establish your credibility by explaining your experience and sharing your interest in the materials being presented. Discuss the schedule for breaks and, if necessary, how to get around the facility. Tell the audience what you hope they will learn by the end of your presentation and be sure to ask for their expectations as well. Once you've gained attention, present the agenda for the day and then transition into the body of your presentation.

Encourage everyone to participate in the training by expressing their own ideas, opinions, feelings. Don't come across as arrogant and having all the answers as it will cause your audience to disengage. Confess that you probably don’t have all the answers. You are a learner as well as a teacher. You don’t need to be the “font of all knowledge.” Give your audience permission to express their thoughts and feelings about the subject.

Listening to Questions

Effective listening is a skill and an art. It takes time to develop good listening skills, especially when the trainer is rushed for time.

  • Be sure to listen to the learner's questions and comments first before thinking of your response.
  • Make direct eye contact with the person and be sure to focus on the person when they are asking the question.
  • Move towards the person as they are asking the question.
  • If necessary, repeat the question so the rest of the class can hear it.
  • Rephrase the question to make sure you comprehend what they are asking.

Answering Questions

Answering questions is an art as well as a science. Comprehending what the student is really asking can be a challenge so be sure to rephrase the questions if need be. If you don't believe other students heard the question, be sure to restate the question. Here are some more points to remember:

  • Respond initially to the person who asked the question and then shift eye contact to the broad audience. Try to answer the question as clearly and briefly as you can.
  • Welcome difficult questions (or at least appear to welcome them! and don't be afraid to say you don't have the answer. You don have to be the "font of all knowledge." However, if you don't know the answer, make a commitment to find out for the learner. That's important.
  • To build rapport, say, "That’s a good question." or, "I’m glad you asked that." If someone is objecting, or has another opinion, welcome it. We are all teachers and learners and you just might learn something new! Don't be afraid to "agree to disagree" as that's perfectly fine. Remember, though, that when you're training mandatory safe work procedures and practices, there's little room for disagreement.
  • Conclude by transitioning attention back to the person who asked the question. If appropriate, ask, "Did I answer the question for you?" or "Does that help?“

Handling Problem Situations

They may be rare, but problem situations, in which learning is inhibited due to the behavior of one or more of the learners, may occur. Problem situations have something to do with the level of participation of individual learners: when learners participate too much or too little.

  • Too much participation. Learners may not be able to fully participate in group or class activities when an individual learner is too vocal. Overly vocal learners may be merely the result of an enthusiastic interest in the course material, a felt need to be recognized, or just "the way they are." Whatever the case, encourage participation by everyone. It may be necessary to ask, privately, those who dominate the training to limit their participation. An effective method to get others involved is to ask the rest of the students what they think about a student's comments.

  • Too little participation. When one participant is too vocal, others may not feel comfortable participating, and remain silent. Their valuable input may be lost from the group. In addition, the trainer may not be able to accurately assess the degree of learning that's taking place when learners are silent. On the other hand, silent learners may just be nervous about expressing themselves in front of others. Again, if you think lack of participation is a problem, privately ask the person if you can be helpful in some way.

  • Hostility. Problem situations may occur when learner behavior is perceived by the trainer as inappropriate. A learner may express hostility towards the trainer, the company, or another learner. Don’t assume that such behavior on the part of learners is a reflection of their hostility toward you or your training. Don't take negative comments personally. It's important to understand that they underlying thoughts and feelings are somehow fearful. Your objective should be to somehow reduce that fear in a non-judgmental way. You might use the "feel-felt-found" strategy that goes something like this:

    I can understand why you might feel that way, and I think others have felt that way too, but I've personally found that..."

    Using this technique, you're validating their thoughts and feelings and introducing the person to your own thoughts and feelings that draw a different conclusion based on your own valid experience. If successful, this technique can be effective to change thoughts, perceptions and, thereby, reduce apprehension. Reduce fear by increasing understanding.

  • To reduce the likelihood of conflict in class, emphasize discussion of ideas that works vs. those that may not or do not work. It is extremely important that trainers not make value judgments about others. It is appropriate to state an opinion or make a judgment based on facts using the work vs. doesn't work response. Don't allow accusations of being right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, or smart vs. stupid.

Source: OSHAcademy

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Copyright ©2000-2016 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Students may reproduce materials for personal study. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).