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17 May 2014

The Unbelievable 7 Myths and Truths of Training

Knowing the truths makes one wise, believing in the myths makes one unwise, so said my teacher Andy Ferrari Norman.  The top 7 myths and truths of training that few people realize are:

1.  Training will make me 'Get High'
Truth: Yes, you may get very pleasant feelings of peace and tranquility but you should not get high or the trainer has just embarked on 'emotion brainwashing'.  Training will increase your self awareness of your knowledge, beliefs and experience.  For example, people often told me that they didn't realize that they were using the wrong words and phrases in their work until they came to our training.

2. Training will equip me with 'Magic Power'
In promotion flyers for seminars, they often use words like 'turn you from unmotivated to highly charged' and that gives many the impression that training has some magical power. 

Truth:  Trainers are not magicians, they don't possess magic power to transmit them to you.  But with better understanding, you will better manage and reduce your work stress, frustration, anger and anxiety.  Of course the training won't make you insane, but you will see things more clearly, and with clarity comes wisdom.  That's why trainees often report to be wiser after the course. 

3. Training is just 'sitting in the classroom and listen'
Truth: Training is a whole range of activities that encompasses your mental development. Other than listening to the trainer, you will be asked questions, given case studies, do role plays, perform some physical exercises (like poking a hole in potato with a straw).  No one can just sit and listen whole day, there are also video clips to watch and some music to listen to during the course.  

4. Training is free for me as my company pays for it
Truth: The biggest payment to make in this world is pay attention.  Training is never free even when you never pay for it, for your employer expects you to pay back the cost of training in your work. The payback is in the form of higher productivity, better teamwork, higher sales, lower cost and minimize risks. The end result: Higher Profits or value for the organization.

5. Application of training is smooth and straightforward
Truth: There are 5 hindrances in applying the training to your daily work:
  • Impatience - you need to be patient and not expect immediate results as all good things takes time to materialise
  • Sceptical doubt - if you doubt the training can help you, it will not help you. You must cast doubts aside and have faith in applying the training
  • Laziness and Procrastination - these are the most common reasons why training don't work, for trainees are lazy and like to postpone application of the training as 'there is always tomorrow' 
  • Greed - people are greedy for more results, after applying the training and seeing immediate results, they expect more results, resulting in disappointment. The truth is that all things starting from ground zero have more results, but you should know that the law of diminishing returns will kick in once you are above ground zero.
6.  Training only benefits those who are unsure and inexperienced
Truth: Those who are very knowledgeable and experienced benefit the most from training, as they are able to apply training faster and better.  In comparison, the newbie will find the training 'very good' but more difficult to apply as he has a weaker base to work from.

7. Employers expect to make profit from every training
Truth: Most employers care for their employees, that's why they pay money 3 times when they send their staff for training: the training fee, the salary cost of the employee and the opportunity cost of both the training fee and time lost in training.  As such, most employers do not expect to make any money from training as the total training cost is easily 3 times of the training fee paid.  As an employer myself and having been in top management before, I believe that employers only have one thing in mind when they send their staff for training: to make them better.  It is like the parent's wish for their child to be better and nothing else. 

Buy Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, whose courses are now eligible for the Singapore Government's PIC (Productivity and Innovation Credit) cash subsidy of 60% or tax refund of 300%.   On top of that, companies also get $15,000 cash from PIC bonus, for details, click here.  Related articles on training:

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