Monday, March 29, 2010

Training In-Service

What is the hardest bunch you have ever had to train? In many cases it is our peers or as some call in-service training. Much in-service training is mandatory and is being presented because of some problem or legal issue within the organization or industry. This means many of the people just do not want to be in your class for several reasons; a) they know better than to do what you are talking about or b) they do not see how it really affects them.

Some trainers dread instructing in-service. First you need to change your attitude. The material you are teaching most likely has some expensive raminifications to it if they do what they are not suppose to do.What you need to do is find that radio station everyone listens to WII-FM (What Is in It For Me)! You need to find something in the topic that is interesting and meaningful to your audience.

To give you an example, I had to teach a course on how to testify in court to a group of police officers who on the average had twenty plus years of experience testifying in court. They were already coming with the idea it was going to be more of the same; how to dress, saying yes sir and no sir and the standard line they normally are taught. I knew this was going to be a tough bunch so I decided to approach it from a different angle. No one likes to look foolish in front of their peers or other people espcecially cops. So I researched the topic from the viewpoint of a defense attorney as to the methods they use to make police officers look foolish and seem to stumble and maybe even sound untruthful. To make a long story short my method worked out just fine, the older officers loved it and started to add to what I had presented by giving stories of how attorneys in the past tried to trip them up. Everyone had fun and we all learned something new. Several of the skeptics came up to me after the presentation and told me how they had dreaded this two hour block on court testifying, but were now glad they came. So how do you find what radio station WII-FM your audience is tuned into?

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