This is part two of a 2-part blog on how to effectively determine your leadership training needs as well as how to choose the right facilitators to deliver the training. In part one of the blog, I offered 6 important questions to answer internally in your organization before speaking to a facilitator. In part two, I recommend 6 questions you may want to use when you interview training facilitators.
Part 2 External Questions to Ask Potential Training Facilitators:
What do you know about our organization?
A smart facilitator will do research on your company before being interviewed. The answers to this question will give you a good idea if their priority is to your company and your team or more about them and their canned offering. Whatever facilitator you end up selecting, schedule an information-sharing session before the training so you can educate them on your mission, vision, values, team goals, dynamics, and dysfunctions as well as key terms that are unique to your organization and may get mentioned in the training session.
What leadership training certifications do you hold?
It’s relatively easy to call yourself a trainer or a facilitator and not have any real-time experience in leadership training or instructional design. Certification can often indicate an area of specialty and that a commitment of time and money has been invested to become skilled in a particular niche. As a follow-up, it would be advisable to ask how many times the facilitator has trained in this area of leadership and what results were achieved. Do know that a certification does not guarantee an excellent training facilitator.
What training experience do you have helping teams overcome our specific pain point?
Leadership is a big broad subject. Ask for an outline of the content and training materials the facilitator will provide that relate to overcoming your team’s pain point. Ask for a couple of referrals from organizations similar to yours with whom the facilitator has worked. You may also want to request to see a video of the facilitator conducting a past training so you can get a feel for style and approach. A thorough leadership training should be customized and address the 4 learning styles – visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and read/write. Find out how the facilitator will tailor the training and integrate different learning styles to meet your needs.
Do you offer a train the trainer program?
At some point, you’ll want to do more training, but your budget will be maxed out. A train the trainer program allows a limited number of individuals in the organization to become steeped in the content delivered by the training facilitator within certain parameters. Those individuals then go on to train others in the organization. A train the trainer program helps build momentum and energy around what was learned during the team training sessions. When you have leaders in your organization who can reinforce the newly learned behaviors as well as get new hires up to speed, you extend the value of the training to more people and for a longer period, increasing the likelihood of better outcomes.
What are your training fees? When do you collect them? Are travel and incidentals extra? Are assessment fees extra? Are there any material fees?
Commonly, training facilitators will ask for a portion of the training fees upfront and full payment before the training day. Travel and incidentals costs and assessment fees are often extra and quoted separately so, be sure to ask and incorporate them into your training expenses. You may be able to request a reduced fee by committing to 2 or more trainings with the same facilitator. If your organization has never worked with the facilitator, it may be advisable to “try them out” before committing to multiple training programs.
In close, leadership training is an important strategic decision and a commitment to developing your people. Dedicating the time to go through a thorough vetting process helps create a higher return on your investment dollars and instills confidence in your trainees and your stakeholders. Leadership training is not only a driver of productivity, EQ, and engagement, it can also be a useful retention tool, and who doesn’t need that these days.
Author: Sara Harvey, Founder & President