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I’ve noticed that there are two different backgrounds for trainers and training managers.  First, there are those who are good at a particular job and they get promoted into training.  This is very common for sales forces, call centers and manufacturing.  Their knowledge of the job and often on-the-job training is high and their knowledge of anything formal about training tends to be low.  The second are those with a training background but have limited work experience.  The know education models and theories but often not how business works or other business models.  Hopefully over time, they begin to close these gaps.

The role of mentoring for these trainers and training managers often involves closing some of these gaps quickly while reducing a lot of mistakes and certainly conflict.  Often one of the most challenging things for new trainers and training managers is leading groups and teams of more senior level people without getting run over.  This is a particularly good place for a mentor.  Here are some of my ideas on some of the best things mentors can do:

  • Connect trainers with the appropriate associations and networking organizations
  • Show trainers how to find training resources
  • Provide tools and templates
  • Allow trainers to job shadow especially with higher level meetings
  • Review work and provide feedback especially at the design level
  • Involve trainers in other business initiatives such as quality improvement
  • Work with trainers on building business cases and the finance side of the business
  • Sit in on classes and provide feedback

There are many more this is just a start.  Helping training managers establish their role and learning leaders is an additional challenge you might want to help them with.

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