Reflections on Train the Trainer class Week 1

I am undertaking a Train the Trainer class from the good folks at International Coach Academy.  They are some of the most intentionally professional trainers I have ever met.

As part of the course, the Trainers in Training have been asked to reflect on the topics we cover in class, so I am going to share my reflections here.

Week 1



What outcome would I like from this Train the Trainer class?

I would like to become more adept as a trainer through learning from trainers I admire, and practicing new skills in a safe environment.  The ICA teleclass is a fantastic learning environment, and I feel very comfortable trying new skills there.

I also want to learn about the specific skills needed when training using a new medium – teleclass – in order to provide accessible training and coaching to more clients.  My corporate clients are increasingly limited in their travel options, both their own travel and expenses for coaches and consultants.  Teleclasses can provide an alternative to face-to-face meetings and classes.

I’m also excited to hear from and connect with other trainers about their experiences and ideas in order to expand my trainer’s toolbox.  There’s always something new to learn! Curiosity is one of my core strengths, and this class lets me build those muscles even more.


How do I create a safe space for students?

I do a welcome/check in to allow people to share what has happened to them since we last met, to connect, and to settle in to the training class and become present.

I model the behaviour I want the students to have through sharing where I’m at, and becoming present with them.

I also try to keep things positive through acknowledgement, appreciative inquiry and giving people space to share throughout the class.  I make sure every learning opportunity is acknowledged and people’s different styles of speaking and learning are welcomed.

In the case of telephone training, I keep the tone of my voice welcoming and easygoing.


What do I do to be present before I begin class?

I review the notes I’ve made about the upcoming class so I can stay “out of the page” and in the moment of learning.

I makes sure any technology I may be using is working correctly; the bridge line is working or if I’m training in-class the projector and computer are hooked up and functioning.  I even run through some slides or specific tasks to make sure they will work when the time comes.

Finally, before the class starts, I take 5 minutes to breathe and focus and think about the outcomes I want.  I also remind myself of my own capabilities as an instructor so I can be fully present and not self-focused.


How and what would I do in my first training session to insure that I provide the opportunity for learners to take that first step in participating?

There are always people who are very comfortable participating and speaking in class, others who are very uncomfortable with participating or speaking in public, and others whose participation is very situational.

Because different people feel more or less comfortable speaking, I would provide opportunities to write responses, and share them later if the student wishes to, and even to create visuals like mindmaps or diagrams.

Several times I have had trainers who ask students to write a response and then read it out later, which lets them share in a prepared way; another great opportunity is to ask people to say in one word how they feel after the class or what they are taking away.  Any activity like this can give people the chance to become more comfortable participating.

As an in-class trainer I frequently use modified games like Jeopardy or Mad Dash to get people’s blood pumping, lighten things up and increase attention on the concepts we’re discussing.

Additionally, some people might not learn from thinking about/theorizing but may learn from an activity in which they can practice a new skill.  So  I might give the students a chance to practice the skill we are talking about by asking for volunteers to work in class, either role-playing with roles of their choice or pretending to be players in a pre-defined scenario.

Similarly, some students may wish to connect outside of class time on something they are passionate about, so they could work on a project separately and post to the discussion board or present a report to the class the next time we meet.

I always make sure that people know they can pass on any activity, to reinforce the safety and freedom of the learning environment.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing your insights Vickie, I love to read how we all come from our own perspectives and meet into the common love of learning and expanding!

  2. I just love your blog, congrats for the reflections. Looking forward for our common experience.

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