How to Work With Trainees and Their Mixed Motivations

indian womanAs a trainer in time management it’s a guarantee: you will have trainees who have no interest in being in your classroom. They are there because were sent by their manager, and had no interest in coming… until they were ordered to attend.

You have a problem at the very start – how do you nullify their effect on other participants, at the very least, and maybe get them engaged in the materials, at the very most?

The answer is simple – your course must powerfully address their self-interests at the very beginning.

Sure, their bosses wants them to be more productive and to get more work from them. They also want them to get to work on time, and provide deliverables on a set schedule.

But that’s not going to get them engaged in your program, especially if they believe that they are already being maxed out, and that their boss is being unreasonable – wanting blood from a stone.

You’ll need to address their more basic needs, such as:
– the pressure they are getting from their boss to improve and how to deal with it effectively
– the areas of their life that are out of balance right now (weight, relationships, spirituality, personal time, etc.)
– where they are experiencing the symptoms of having a system that’s not keeping up with their lives
– how to deal with the fact that the demands on their life are increasing all the time
– how to cope with information overload
– how to stop feeling dissatisfied at the end of each day that so little got done
– how to keep up with other people in the office and do better than them
– how to become the last person they’d consider letting go because you are so productive
– how to avoid ruining your reputation by not delivering
– how to have an uncluttered office

It doesn’t matter which angle you take, you must spend enough time in the training to capture the imagination of a critical mass of attendees. If you do that, then the unwilling may give you enough space to work magic with the other attendees.

In my training, I make sure to have paired activities so that people can work with each other, in order help each other.  I have noticed that it’s hard to remain resistant when you have the opportunity to help others who are serious about getting all that they can from the learning opportunity.

These are just a few the approaches I use – do you have ideas for others?