Many organizations today recognize the value of providing training to their staff on an on-going basis. Among the many benefits that training programs can provide are opportunities for staff to acquire new skills, keep up with changing industry standards, improve work performance, increase morale and meet new people from different industries and backgrounds. It is therefore common for companies today to invest a considerable amount of time and money on employee career development, often sending their staff to predetermined training courses.
Consider the following conversation:
Amanda: So happy we get to go for training together tomorrow and the day after. No work for two days!
Terry: I hope the trainer is knowledgeable and funny. If not, I’ll probably fall asleep.
Amanda: But you’ll be awake just in time for the food! I wonder if we’ll get tea breaks and a nice lunch buffet?
Terry: We should! It’s being held at a hotel, so the food should be good or I’ll be disappointed.
Amanda: Hmm…I wonder what we’ll be learning and who we’ll meet. Let’s look through the course outline and see if we need to prepare for the training.
Terry: No need lah! We’ll get all the slides in our notes anyway. We can always refer to it if we forget what we learned.
Have you ever found yourself saying the same things? The conversation above shows some typical Malaysian expectations when selected to attend training programs. We often deduce that how much we enjoy the training session will largely depend on whether or not our expectations of the trainer, training content and food are met. However, a more important factor that determines whether we will truly benefit from training is not what we expect of the training but what we can bring to the training. Each of us personally need to be responsible for making a success of our learning, be it formal or informal training. How can we do so more fully?
Be curious and enthusiastic. It all begins with your mind set – do you want to learn something that can benefit you either professionally or personally? If so, prepare before the training by reviewing the outline and training content. Be excited about what you can gain from the session and be ready with questions to get your answers. During training, be open to new ideas and suggestions, and you will find yourself (and not just your notebook) absorbing the material more effectively.
Be engaging. Malaysians are often afraid of giving the wrong answers or appearing ignorant in front of others, which can cause us to lose face. However, with good preparation and constantly thinking how to relate what you learn to your workplace, you can contribute to discussions and volunteer for activities and role plays. Trainers often gravitate towards active participants, and reward them by engaging them more frequently in questions and discussions. The more involved you are, the more you can express your opinions and retain the knowledge you learn.
Be a sharer. Individuals who are generous in imparting their knowledge to others show great maturity and are able to think outside of their own needs. Expand your understanding to include solutions that your teammates or colleagues might benefit from, and explore them with your trainer and fellow participants during training. By doing so, you will be benefiting yourself and your organization as a whole.
Training programs should not merely be mandatory activities that we strike off of our annual to-do list. Whether it is technical competency or soft skills, the benefits can be far lasting and provide enrichment to our personal lives. We should therefore take full advantage of trainings and be determined to show up with an eager and engaging spirit. For a refreshing and unique take on training, we provide various cross-cultural training programs that can be customised to suit your organizational needs.
By: Boleh Blogger