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Published Articles by David Balovich

Title: The Manager as Teacher
Published in: Creditworthy News
Date: 11/7/01

The successful manager can train employees one of three ways. 1) send individual members of staff to training courses. 2) contract to have the entire department trained at one time by a professional trainer. Or 3) conduct the training themselves.

Here are the steps a successful manager follows when preparing to teach an in-house training session.

Clarify the purpose of the training.

Staff members need to understand the purpose and goals of the training they are receiving. Inform them not only about the subject but also the purpose and why they need to know what is being taught.

Learning groups should be manageable.

Will the training be lecture or require hands-on participation? The department should be divided into groups according to what is most appropriate. Groups engaged in learning a hands-on skill should be kept small so that each member of the group can be given individual attention.

A lecture or discussion group can be larger than a hands-on program. However, discussion groups should not be so large that not everyone will have the opportunity to speak or ask questions during the training period.

Plan for breaks.

There is an old adage that says the mind can only absorb what the rear can endure. Plan for a 5 to 10 minute break for every 60 minutes of training.

Prepare a lesson plan.

Knowing how to do something and knowing how to teach it are two different things. Prepare a lesson plan that first identifies what needs to be taught and then how to best cover what staff needs to learn. A lesson plan prevents straying from the topic and also insures that the topic is covered in its entirety.

Stop for questions.

Do not make the mistake of asking participants to hold their questions until the end of the program. The best time for a participant to ask a question is when they have it. Then they will not forget it. Also, questions asked during the program allow for material to be covered more thoroughly and encourages participation form other members of the group.

Teach new procedures sequentially.

Demonstrate new procedures in the order in which they should be done. Donít skip one part and go back to it later; take the participants through the process step by step.

Plan for a follow-up session.

Follow up meetings enables participants to share what they have learned and help one another solve any practical problems they may have encountered. New questions always arise as staff put the procedures they have learned into practice.

I wish you well.

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