If we are committed to implementing a quality training process to transform our workplace into one of purpose and productivity, then it makes sense to educate ourselves on how to be effective trainers. Equally, if we are really dedicated to training and transforming our employees in ways that benefit them personally and professionally, it makes sense to know as much about them as possible.
Human beings have, in general, an intrinsic desire to understand other people, their emotions, their thought processes, and thus, their actions. We no longer need to worry about being chased and killed by saber-toothed tigers and our survival no longer depends on our abilities to run fast, climb a tree or throw a spear. Instead, we survive “based on our abilities to detect the needs and intentions of those around us. Our primary environment has become other people.” (Cozolino, 2015, p. 13).
Because this is so important to us we tend to label people whenever we lack understanding. Understanding them, however, can help reduce the level of uncertainty we might feel about meeting and interacting with them. Our own uncertainties can cause us to make false assumptions about how our employees or trainees will react or behave towards us which, in turn, affects how we behave towards them. This is a damaging, dangerous and unnecessary cycle.
A key part of our effectiveness as trainers is being able to interact positively with our employees. This means we must present ourselves as accessible professionals and communicate appropriately with all team members.
When meeting new people, we perceive and interpret stimuli based on our sensory impressions. A cycle of perception and behavior follows and, if we get it wrong, can lead us to fundamentally misunderstand others’ motives, goals and actions. As individuals, we tend to apply identification rules to the moods, attitudes and intentions of others from the stimuli we receive. In other words, we stereotype. All of us do it to some extent. Once we have created these inaccuracies and drawn our own conclusions, we then expect others to behave in certain ways. This not only affects how we treat them but also how we communicate with them. Instead, we should be treating everyone with respect, fairness, integrity and – yes – interest. If we are to coach others effectively, we need to be invested in them as individuals, not just their goals.