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Posted by on Jun 1, 2010 in Multitasking, Summer 2010 | 0 comments

Trying on a new hat

The Learning Curve…

Trying on a new hat

By Erica Brandl, Learning Evolves

At a recent networking event, I couldn?t help but smile as I overheard another business owner describe what she did. She said, ?Oh, I?m the owner, top sales girl, head of marketing, bookkeeper, chauffeur, coffee maker, and dishwasher. You name it, I probably do it.?

That?s the reality for a small business owner. It can be hard for our heads to fit through the door most days, not because our egos aren?t in check, but because all the hats we wear simply can?t get through the door frame. As your business grows, there will come a day when you can hand tasks off to new assistants and employees. But when that day comes, you?ll have to try on a new hat for size: Head of Training & Development.
If you?ve never been in that role before, here are five steps that will make your training efforts successful:

  1. Get clear: All effective training starts with defining your performance objectives. What are your goals? What should your employees be able to do (not just what should they know) after they?re trained? What tools will they need to be able to do their job well? Take some time to answer these questions before designing your training program.
  2. Figure out the fence: Let?s face it. Your business is your baby, and there?s a part of you that may secretly want things done a certain way. As you map out the processes you want them to follow, establish the boundaries that your employees can play within. Where are you comfortable with them personalizing your processes? Make these expectations clear as you train.
  3. Look through their eyes: What you?re saying makes the most sense to you, and how you?re teaching likely reflects the way that you learn best. Take some time to get to know your trainees and their learning styles. How do they learn best?
  4. Get their hands dirty: Your driving instructor could never have taught you how to drive safely without letting you behind the wheel. People don?t learn just by listening; they need to be actively involved in what they?re learning, so provide them with opportunities to learn by doing.
  5. Let go: If you?ve taken the time to complete steps 1-4, then you?ve likely trained them well. Let them run with things while you focus on what you do best!
Page 9, Summer 2010

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