Investing in yourself not only improves your life, but also the lives of those around you. This is one of the most frequently quoted recommendations from outrageously successful people like Benjamin Franklin to Warren Buffet. Seminars and training are a great opportunity to do just that and develop your attitude, your skills, and what you can accomplish in the world. However, they often require a significant investment of time and money, and not all providers are the same.
In the words of Steve Andreas (Ph.D., author), who inspired this article, “Some ‘training’ merely presents ideas rather than actually teaching you new skills and abilities. Since most ideas can also be presented in a book or article, such training can be an expensive and time-consuming way to get the same information. Other seminars provide participants with confidence and motivation, but not the necessary behavioral skills. Some seminars are entertaining, but participants don’t leave the training with new skills they can apply.”
So how do you recognize excellent training and how do you avoid the mediocre ones? Read on to learn The Coaching Room’s recommended guidelines for quality control.
Guidelines for excellent training:
Do trainers embody the skills they teach?
Ultimately, the only credential that proves credibility is behavior. Anyone can tout and talk about a skill, model, mindset, etc., but can the trainer embody it themselves? Does the trainer talk about emotional mastery, but show himself or herself to be agitated, frustrated, or self-conscious? Does the trainer talk about the importance of flexibility, but react rigidly? If the trainers don’t embody what they teach, you are forced to rely on theory and imagination to learn, rather than direct evidence and experience.
Are the instructors successful in what they teach you?
Or are they only successful at selling you the subject area they are teaching? I don’t take my investment advice from the cab driver, even if he/she is very persuasive. Likewise, I would not recommend that you take advice from a trainer who is not experienced or successful in the area in which he/she is conducting seminars or training. Some coaches, authors and speakers, even some very famous ones, become successful by selling their book/training on how to become a successful coach or NLP practitioner, not by actually applying the methods in the book/training they sell you. When you talk to an executive coach who tells you how powerful and important executive coaching is, ask them if they have a coach themselves. If not, it’s not really the truth, is it? Training is highly questionable when the instructor says something they can’t prove themselves.
Demonstrations and practical exercises:
Are there live demonstrations of the methods being taught and hands-on exercises, or is it just a download of information that you can probably read for free on the Internet? When it comes to learning skills, such as becoming a coach, NLP Practitioner Certification Training, learning to swim, etc., just reading or hearing about it is not enough. You can’t train a skill by mail, just as you can’t learn to swim unless you get wet. The hallmark of a good seminar is that you can do more after the seminar than you did when you started.
Questions: Is time regularly set aside for QNA?
Are questions welcomed and answered? A good trainer will see questions and challenges as opportunities to deepen the lesson and provide a greater depth of learning for the group. An average to poor trainer will discourage questions, respond disrespectfully, or exclude QNA altogether.
Self-congratulation and gurus:
I once attended a seminar for coaches where the first 15 minutes of a 60-minute talk were spent listening to the speaker’s credentials and accomplishments that had nothing to do with what I was there to learn. Unless you specifically asked for it, every minute a trainer spends talking about how great he or she is or how great his or her accomplishments are, is a minute of your time that you are paying for without learning anything that can help you. If a trainer is effective, they don’t need to tell you, they can show you.
Post-program support: what is your relationship with the provider like after the program is completed?
Is it nonexistent until you pay for another program, or are you a valued part of a community that actively engages and supports them? The best training providers offer comprehensive post-program options without requiring you to continue paying just to maintain the relationship. The Coaching Room, for example, sponsors monthly coach training and NLP training groups, breakfasts for women leaders, community events led by community members, and allows you to repeat their programs as many times as you like for free.
A word about certificates and credentials:
Don’t get caught up in the hype about certificates and credentials, either those provided by the trainer or those promised to you upon completion of a course. In highly regulated industries like accounting, your credentials are paramount, and you can’t work in that industry without the necessary qualifications. In non-regulated industries such as coach training, NLP, self-development and many others, qualifications can give you some level of assurance that there is a methodology and due process that is supported by an organization that you can research and that has a good reputation. Coaching Room students are licensed by the Meta-Coach Foundation and the International Society of Neuro-semantics, both of which operate in 52 countries around the world and meet the most rigorous standards in the industry. Ultimately, though, the skills you take away are far more important than the piece of paper you end up with. Customers never ask for your credentials; they’re only interested in the results.
Humor: training doesn’t have to be a dry, uninteresting ordeal.
The best trainers encourage engagement and provide a fun, emotionally charged environment. The best trainers can laugh, relax, and be human while provoking your thoughts, addressing your conditions, challenging your ideas, and supporting you during the process.
As a training company, we have high standards when it comes to developing ourselves through seminars and training. These are our basic criteria for selecting good quality training providers. You can add many more criteria to this list, but if you follow these basic tips, you are sure to find yourself in a good quality training. Are you looking for an NLP training provider that meets these criteria?