Is Your Training Too Easy?

Last Updated Nov 14, 2008 9:54 AM EST

When it comes to learning and development, it's horses for courses: one style of training will certainly not suit all.

Honey and Mumford outlines four different styles of learning

  1. Activists, who are described as 'have-a-go' learners.
  2. Reflectors, who are 'tell-me' learners.
  3. Theorists, who are 'convince-me' learners.
  4. Pragmatists, who are 'show-me' learners.
But while styles of learning may vary, there are some common rules for both trainers and learners to take on board. Here are three things to consider if you're embarking on a training course.
  • Break the formula... Both trainers and learners should be prepared to get out of their comfort zone. Buoyant trainers faced with an introverted, reflective group will need to curb their energy to avoid overpowering them. A gung-ho group, on the other hand, will want to get stuck in and may switch off if a trainer starts with too much theory.
  • Sometimes you have to get stuck in... traineechef.jpgConsider the nature of what's being taught. Some learning needs to be hands on, rather than observational. No matter how many times you read a recipe or watch Jamie Oliver cook a dish, only once you go through the experience of handling the ingredients, adjusting the temperature and adding the seasoning and spices do you learn how to cook it.
  • This may hurt a bit... At some point in our career, most of us will be sent on a presentation course, a tortuous experience of being videotaped and standing up in front of a room of people and stumbling through the learning process. As painful as this may be this is the best way to learn how to present -- in front of an audience, full of self-awareness, but just doing it.
Is your training course stretching you enough?

(Photo: DCCentralKitchen,CC2.0)

  • Salma Shah

    Salma Shah is the founder of Beyond, which employs consulting, training, coaching and mentoring to help individuals to improve their own performance at work. A psychology graduate, Salma worked in IT for more than 17 years and now advises clients such as Cap Gemini, Microsoft, Oracle and New Star Asset Management.