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Training resources blog by Corexcel. Your connection to everything related to training.

Browsing Posts published by Jason Willey

With the job market still recovering from the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009, companies and organizations are investing more money into training current team members in place of hiring new employees. Training employees can include one on one coaching, behavioral assessments, or simply helping them become proficient in their job duties. Why is training so important? What are some of the reasons you would want to invest money and time into training your employees?

Employees will enjoy their work

A well-trained employee who is great, not just good, at their job will excel at what they do and actually enjoy their work. When someone loves the work that they do, in more cases than not, it is because they are great at it!

When employees are poorly trained they tend to make mistakes, feel less confident about their work, and are easily frustrated. You can imagine an employee who feels this way for any extended amount of time will not last.

Take a minute and think about a position you held in the past. Maybe it was in customer service, food service or perhaps a supervisor position. How much training did you receive? If you had more training would you have felt more prepared and able to handle situations differently? Perhaps the frustration and anxiety you felt that caused you to quit and look elsewhere was due to a lack of proper training.

Look at former UCLA Coach John Wooden, who was one of the most all-time winning basketball coaches. Coach Wooden so accurately put it by saying,

“You can’t have confidence

unless you are prepared.

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Preparation is practice and training. Is your team prepared? Are they properly trained and excellent at what they do? If not, take a close look at your training curriculum. There may be some adjustments to be made.

Builds a sense of team

Training and growing together builds camaraderie and a sense of team. John Maxwell, legendary Pastor and arguably one of the most famous authors on leadership says,

“The team who grows together

stays together.”

When practice and training become part of the culture in an organization, it helps to solidify the member’s relationships with one another. In a real sense, they are embarking on a journey together. They can watch each other grow and achieve greater success.  Being part of a winning, growing team breeds passion towards a common goal. As each individual grows, the team grows, and a new level of performance can be obtained.

More prepared more profit

Last, but certainly not least, properly trained employees create more opportunities and more profit for the company they work for. They are more productive and generate more activity then those who are not well trained and lack confidence in what they do. It seems obvious that if a team member is well prepared when a potential customer calls they will be better prepared to help them.

Extraordinary athlete and World Champion boxer Muhammad Ali said,

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit.

Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion.”

Companies who fail to invest money or time in training often experience high turnover, low company loyalty, and struggling performance.  Their bottom line and longevity are true testaments to this. Training isn’t always the most enjoyable thing to do and it can be repetitious. Companies that find a way to beat this monotony and dedicate time and energy to training go on to become great while the competition looks on from the sidelines wondering why!

If we only remember 10% of what we hear, why do we spend 99% of the time worrying about the words we say instead of focusing on how we say them? We’ve all heard the clever adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Effective communication skills are vitally important in today’s business culture. Whether you’re coaching a team member, proposing a new product idea, or making a presentation in front of hundreds of people, the way you convey your message, present your ideas and ask for your teammates input is critical. Let’s take a look at the four main ingredients of effective communication.

Create an open environment for communication.

The foundation for good communication anywhere is an open environment to communicate. As a leader, it is your job to create this. Others must feel confident that they can share ideas and speak freely to engage others. If people hold back and feel they can’t speak their ideas, the communication of the group will be hindered and people will naturally shut down.

Sharon Schuster says, “When we have the courage to speak out – to break our silence – we inspire the rest of the ‘moderates’ in our communities to speak up and voice their views.”

The “courage” that Schuster speaks of is easy to draw from when the environment is conducive to open communication. Creating this climate is the first step!

Keep it simple.

The phrase, “simple is better,” applies to many things and it especially applies to communication. John Kotter puts it like this, “Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. It isn’t about slickness. Simple and clear go a long way.”

People only remember 10% of what they hear. Using a complex vocabulary and explaining things in a very complicated way can leave your audience bored and confused. Whether you are speaking with someone directly or a large group, you have to know your audience. Explain things in a way that they will understand. This will keep their attention, help them communicate with you, and allow them to use the ideas you are sharing and put them into action.

Non-Verbal communication.

Another key element is non-verbal communication. How we say things is extremely important. We’ve all seen the classic movie, Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, and remember the teacher calling roll saying, “Buelher…Buelher…” His mono-tone voice makes your body kick into screensaver instantly. Even though the topic might be exciting and the facts could be very interesting, his lack of body language and tone cripple any presentation.

Non-verbal communication means body language, energy level, and the presence your audience feels when you are speaking. A great communicator eliminates any visual distractions and uses his body language to keep the audience engaged and excited. Carl Buechner remarked, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Listen with your ears, heart and mind.

The last and most important element to great communication is listening. We have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. Being an effective listener is one of the most difficult skills to master. Most of us struggle at listening because we are so focused on trying to figure out what to say next while the other person is talking. Asking the right questions and then listening effectively can provide you with all the tools to communicate the right ideas with someone. If you don’t listen to your audience you will never know what they want and you won’t know what to say to gain their interest, trust, or business.

Leaders know how to listen to their people and then provide the exact advice, recommendation or idea they need to succeed. This is what sets apart average communicators from great communicators. Author Peter Drucker says, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what is being said.”

Communication is essential to success. Like any other skill, communication takes practice and work. The great communicators have mastered this skill through experience and constant reform. Remember to allow others to be open, keep it simple, bring energy, and listen to your audience as you grow and perfect your ability to effectively communicate with those around you!

How does one become a leader? Is it something we are born with or is it a skill we develop over time? Some say, “Leaders are made, not born. “ While others argue, “Leadership is either something you have, or something you don’t have.” The leadership debate is one that continues to rage on, however most would say that leadership is a skill we can develop over time. Some naturally learn faster than others and seem to have a knack for leadership. If you want to become a leader, where do you start? What does one study or do to become a leader? 

Make the decision
The first stepEffective Leadership Blocks in becoming a leader is to decide to be a leader. This may sound trivial, but as Andrew Carnegie, creator of the steel industry and at one time the wealthiest man in the world, once said, “The starting point to all achievement in life begins in the form of a clear concise mental picture of the thing one seeks.” Leadership is not an easy position and it requires a lot of work and responsibility, but the rewards are great!

Deciding to be a leader is one of the best decisions a person can make, however it is not the easiest. Leadership must be present in all areas of your life, not just work. Being a leader means always taking the high road, doing things others won’t do because they are not convenient or easy.

Be a lifelong learner
Next, you must constantly be growing and learning as a leader. Just deciding to be a leader isn’t enough. Leaders are constantly growing, evolving, and jumping out of their comfort zone. This is most likely going to cause some controversy with people around you. Someone once said, “The only way to not be controversial is to not do anything at all.”

Leaders are controversial because they are always pushing the envelope of change. Most people will choose to remain complacent and the leader’s action towards change and growth will make them uncomfortable. It is the leader’s responsibility to blaze a new path and once this path is clear and viewed as “safe” by others then they will follow the leader. Growth is not an automatic process and as a leader, you must force yourself to constantly grow, learn and do new things.

Lead by example, it’s the only way
The most effective way to be a leader is to lead by example. Simply barking orders or telling others what to do will not make you a leader. This is the difference between a manager and a leader. The manager wishes to maintain or manage the status quo. A leader pushes forward to cause growth by doing more than anyone else he leads and setting a high expectation for his people to follow.

John Maxwell, author and leadership guru says, “If you are a leader and no one is following you, then you are just taking a walk.”

The old saying, “Don’t ever ask someone to do what you are not willing to do yourself” could not be a truer testament of what leadership means. Taking this action versus the, “Do what I say, not what I do” mentality, builds respect, trust and loyalty. People love to fight with, and for, a leader who is in the trenches and knows the fight just as they do. Providing a strong example for people to follow is just another step in the journey of becoming a great leader.

The bottom line is people want to follow someone they like, trust, and look up to. To be an effective leader you must first decide to live a life of leadership. You must continue to grow and expand into uncharted territory and always provide a strong example for others to follow.

The world needs strong leaders in schools, churches, families, companies, and organizations today more than ever. Make the decision to be a leader. You won’t regret it!