October 07, 2014 – Vicki Pero - Insights

Are You Telling or Training?

Telling isn’t training” is a well-known expression among training and development professionals. While you may just be hearing this expression for the first time, it’s possible you have experienced this form of training in the past and left the interaction feeling ill-prepared for your new job responsibility. Or perhaps you’ve used this approach to train your own employees and have been left frustrated by their lack of compliance following these discussions.

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Effective training is more than just telling someone what to do or standing in front of a classroom of people and reading information off of power point slides. If you’re interested in transforming your training efforts from telling to training read on for tips that will make your training efforts, and your employees new job skills, a success.

What Should Be Included?

A logical starting point when planning to deliver training is to ask yourself what you want employees to be able to do after the training is complete. You can create a content outline based on your response and use this as the roadmap when developing and delivering the training. The outcomes you seek are called learning objectives, and each of them should include a measurable result. You will want participants to be able to identify, describe, complete, perform, etc. the job responsibility you are training.


A linkage between what is being learned and why someone should complete a task a certain way (or at all for that matter) is your best friend when it comes to training. Adults, as a general rule, don’t like to be told what to do, so explaining why helps connect the responsibility to its end purpose. If you want employees to buy into what you are asking them to do, add this to the training delivery message, and you will see immediate results.

How Should the Work Be Done?

The bulk of your efforts and time involved in actual training will cover how the work should be done. This is an opportunity to provide participants hands on experience! If you’re delivering training on the job, an employee can actually complete the task being trained while asking questions and receiving feedback and in a classroom you can present case study scenarios and other types of simulations to allow participants to apply what they are learning.

It’s Important Never to Use the Word Important.

When an adult is told that something is important, it triggers the why question already discussed. If you do decide to use this word, make sure you follow it up with the reason why, so your employees don’t get hung up on this possibly missing the message you are trying to deliver.

Next time you prepare to deliver some form of training, ask yourself “am I telling or training?” These few simple tips can go a long way in terms of transforming the training experience for you and your employees and also achieving the desired results.

Are you interested in more information about training programs for you and your employees? uDrive subscribers have access to tools and templates that can help. These can be found in the Onboarding and Resources for the Parking Manager sections of the site.