Spent the Last couple of weeks onboarding a great HR pro to help me facilitate a bunch of Leadership Training via my BOSS series in the next month. It's reminded me of what I already knew, but sometimes forget:
Being a good to great facilitator of Leadership Training is hard. Why? 5 quick observations:
1--You can't be a robot. You have to weave your stories into the training if you're going to keep their interest.
2 - Mechanics matter. You've got participant guides, slides, flip charts and a bunch of stuff. Something that sounds simple - referencing page numbers that you're on in the guide so people don't get lost - is hard when everything's flying at 100 mph.
3--Don't Paraphrase the Exercises - You wouldn't think of this if you hadn't done it as much as we have. Don't be cute on the exercises you have - read the instructions, because if you paraphrase what you want people to do, they get lost and it all goes to hell.
4--Pace, Pace, Pace - Keep your eye on the prize. If you're doing a day of training and you get 1/2 way through and you've only made it 1/3 of the way through the material, you're in trouble.
5--Conversations involving participants matter more than you covering material - It's an art to how long to let the sharing go on. Participation is key, disagreements amongst the attendees are gold. Let them roll, but keep your eye on pace mentioned above.
Bottom line - you need a great SME who's comfortable with high degrees of chaos and ambiguity to facilitate your leadership/manager of people training.
PLUS - they have to be a bit of performer in front of groups. That's probably the overriding key.
When I say performer, what do I mean? I'm always reminded of this video from David Allen Grier from In Living Color. 40 second clip (email subscribers click through if you don't see the video below), well worth your time.