Fred began his corporate career in personnel with General Shoe Corporation. Personnel became human resources and General Shoe became GENESCO. He participated with the training people for all levels of the large, international corporation. He understood training required respect, expectations, and belief.
Fred’s commitment to mentoring grew out of his determination to actively stretch others. He set out five criteria for trainers.
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As training progresses there must be ways to measure the outcome. Here are five I have found to be helpful.
- Is this person’s job fitting well with his or her talents? If not, I have not possibility of developing that person to full potential. You can keep a person temporarily in a place that doesn’t fit, but it’s the trainer’s responsibility to match the job and talents for the long haul. For example, you can’t put a loner into a team operation.
- How much willingness to do the job I am seeing? I watch to see if the person is basically enthusiastic about the opportunity. Training isn’t helpful for someone who is just going through the motions. If I see an attitude that says, “I will go through this training, but I don’t have to really like it” I know this is just going to be frustrating for all.
- How consistent is the person’s effort? Sporadic, hot and cold effort is not what I want. Organizations need people who are consistent, long-term players. A friend once told me, “The amateur performs well when he feels like it; the pro performs whether he feels like it or not.”
- What are the objective results? Talk is cheap. My mentor, Maxey Jarman used to say, “Show me the baby – don’t tell me about the labor pains.” Peter Drucker talked about results as the reason for activity. Some eat up time in training, look good, and yet produce very little. A friend heard another say, “He’s a good man.” My friend asked, “Good at what?” He was simply good at looking good. Too much talk and not enough walk.
- Is this person willing to be evaluated? I am not going to spend time developing somebody who resists having his results measured. A sign of maturity is the openness to fair, even-handed critique. We live in a culture too filled with “attaboys (and girls).” A good trainer will know how to watch a trainee as instruction and evaluation is given.
Perhaps the greatest challenge in training someone else is getting the person to want to be trained. I have found the greatest gateway to effective training is personal relationship.
This week think about:
- Who has been a great trainer in my life?
- Who am I training in life skills, Christian faith, or career goals?
- What area of my life needs additional skill development?
Words of Wisdom: “Show me the baby – don’t tell me about the labor pains.”
Wisdom from the Word: “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend even the strongest bow.” (2 Samuel 22:35 NET Bible)
News Line: ••• 4/19/16; Brenda A. Smith’s new blog talks about how not to “shoot from the hip.” Click here to read her blog.