If you have been following me for any time you know I am a fan of Seth Godin’s work and a reader of his daily blog. Below is a recent post titled Recipes. It is just four sentences but has an important message for trainers.
One sort of job requires people to follow a recipe.
Another, better sort of job requires people to understand the recipe.
If you understand it, that means you can change it. You have resilience and insight and the leverage to make it better.
Think of a lesson plan as the recipe. If you want to be a good trainer, maybe even a great trainer, you must go beyond simply following the recipe, you need to understand it. If you want to best serve the people you train and teach for understanding, retention, recall and application, you must go beyond following the recipe, you need to understand it.
Understanding the recipe requires understanding the ingredients and why they are important, as well as the sequencing of the ingredients and why they are done in that order. When you understand the recipe you understand what ingredients can be substituted and changed and still get a great product. This requires work, study, practice, experimentation, reflection, self-critique, and honest feedback from others.
It is the same for trainers. You need to understand the lesson plan, not just follow it. Do you understand the content, the history of the content, why it is being taught, why it is being taught in that sequence, the connections to other content, the application in the field and why it is important to the learners? That level of understanding allows you to be able to adjust for the learners and it provides you with the insight and leverage to make it better. You may not be able to change the lesson plan, but you can change how you deliver the content to help maximize the learning for the participants.
What you do as a trainer is too important to just follow a recipe, you must invest the time and energy to understand it.
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