Why Me?

I have always been intrigued by the trainees’ dilemma.

When you nominate participants to behavioural training, the first question they ask is ‘why me’? If his/ her boss has nominated the participant for the program then ‘Does he consider this to be my weakness?’ is a question that the participant will not only not ask but take it as answered! Obviously in the affirmative!

If you are sending an employee’s nomination for an ISABS course, then this question comes up without fail, with greater force, unless the participant is an HR professional.

I have always felt that behavioural programs are like a glass of whisky; people want to enjoy it but they do not want others to know it.

For many managers training is equivalent to repairs to a car by a motor mechanic. That’s the real problem. If the boss notices a problem, he says “He needs training, [read: Ask trainer to fix it]”. There cannot be a more mechanical view of human beings than asking for training to address a behavioural problem.

This matter gets further complicated when the HR Manager does not realise the fallacy of this approach. He not only conducts training for the employee, which means he spends money, but he is at a loss to understand why they same manager complains of ineffectiveness of training. That often does not tally with the ratings given for training by participants.

Training does not result in change of behaviour. People do not become more assertive, manage time [or themselves] better, learn to manage conflicts effectively, develop stronger inter-personal equations when they leave the training room.

Learning people skills is akin to learning to operate software. One has to be alert, explore, check ‘handbook’, reflect on what works, and discuss with others to gain quicker understanding. I said ‘reflect on what works’ because we tend to use people skills with different levels of effectiveness with different people. And in different situations.

The trainer cannot go beyond placing the ‘software’ in our hands.

Pre-program discussions with participants give good understanding to a trainer about expectations of participants. The HR Manager would be more effective if [s]he has a discussion with the recommending manager before a nomination is accepted. This ensures that clear expectations are set before the training begins.

But exception proves the rule. If you nominate an employee for an ‘Out Bound Training’, nobody complains. There are perhaps no expectations of change in behaviour. In fact, you will notice enthusiasm. Being one with ‘nature’ is important. ‘Nature’ does the trick! Do you get me?