How you prepare on the day of training really brings out different personality styles. I’m not talking about the way you actually deliver the training but how you get ready for that day. I am a concrete sequential (if you hadn’t already figured that out yet) which means I tend to make lists, think of training as a step-by-step process, and I happen to be more task oriented than people oriented. My wife on the other hand is a random abstract which means she is more likely to go with the moment, think of training by the end result, and she is more interested in the people than the specific tasks needed to get there. To better understand how those to styles work, let me illustrate with the difference in how we prepare for training. Let’s assume we are both doing the same training in two weeks.
Reviewing briefly, I over prepare and tend to have multiple backups of everything. It is all filed, in order and ready to pull to be used. If it is a small group I may even label the handouts by who gets what. I want everything prepared so I don’t have to think or worry about the process the day of the event. I like it planned and scripted out as much as possible. I will try to practice the major parts of the presentation and probably have them timed out to fit into a schedule I developed (probably down to the minute). I also will probably be changing and tweaking my portion of the training right up to the beginning of the actual training.
My wife will do some of that prep as well but is far less likely to have the materials grouped and labeled. She won’t write a script for the presentations but will rather sketch out an outline of what she wants to say. She has done almost as many trainings as I have (more for adult learners than I have where I have more with kids than she does). She is more likely to adapt on the fly than I am.
Each of us has a style of training that works for us and we will totally operate within our own style. The times we are doing a training together we both adapt and include the other’s style into the event trying to build on each of our strengths.
Each style has its strengths and each has its weaknesses. It is important for you to know which style you operate best in and work to your
Strengths and weaknesses of each style of preparation:
Over Preparation – strengths
- All materials ready for training ahead of time so not rushed
- All objectives will be covered
- Most scenarios planned for
Over Preparation – weaknesses
- Less adaptable to opportunities and circumstances
- Some content may be rushed to get it all in
- Time will probably be spent preparing for things that don’t happen
On the fly – strengths
- Easy to adapt to opportunities and circumstances
- Can be a more natural/conversational tone to training
- Preparation time utilized better
On the fly – weaknesses
- Training less likely to cover desired training objectives
- Training may not flow as well/may seem disjointed
- Finally, this style requires specific talent to pull off (more people think they can do this than really can). I have seen many teacher and trainers use this style and leave the participants in a state of confusion about how things are related or work together to meet and end goal.
Regardless of your primary training style, it is important that you are comfortable with it and still meet the needs of the participants. Depending on your training group those two may seem in conflict with each other always remember first and foremost the training is not about you but rather about the participants getting the desired knowledge and skills. Call it a growth exercise for you if you aren’t in your comfort zone.