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The best trainers know how to truly listen

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Evelyn Glennie is pictured giving a speech on how to listen.

Listening is the core of high-quality training Providing valuable learning materials is not enough to engrave your existence as a professional and productive trainer. You need to create the components of the road map that will help you provide high-quality training. In this blog we highlight listening as one of the core skills needed for a healthy learning environment, which reflects the trainer's acceptance of diversity in the classroom and will also reduce conflicts by increasing negotiations and improving communication.

Be curious, not polite

Sometimes you pretend as if you are listening to prove that you are a professional and polite trainer, allowing everyone the opportunity to express themselves. However, managing a discussion for a one-way speaker shows that you are accomplishing a mission within an abundance of responsibilities. So, to act professionally, be curious by asking the speaker questions to make sure that you have understood carefully their issue and re-frame their words in a different way to appear interested in what they have said. For example, if one of the trainees is stating a story about a problem they have faced in their work, a trainer can say " Oh, this is so interesting and I think it will motivate others, so please tell us how you overcome these circumstances."

Open your ears for a new perspective Being a professional trainer doesn't mean being an expert! You might be knowledgeable in your field but don't doubt that you are learning with every breath. Listening to your adult participants will help you appraise affairs from different perspectives based on a variety of backgrounds and experiences. In addition, listening will prevent misunderstandings and might help you persuade the trainee with an idea after receiving their point with clarity, or maybe even make a clarification.

Understand, do not compete Listen and accept that you might be wrong sometimes. Don't listen to hunt down and then judge others to demonstrate that you are better than them. This will get you nowhere. Listen to your participants with respect to understand their views and give them confidence in themselves, in order to cross the silence barrier and give them a space to be a part of the training by sharing their input with their colleagues and yourself. Remember that trainers are not super stars. They mustn't gain all the focus and win all the arguments. They must listen because listening will enrich their experiences and will help them see this changeable world, from different angles and various eyes. Facial expressions The trainer's body language plays an effective role in listening and paying attention to others. Accordingly, let your facial expressions give the impression that you are concentrated with the speaker's input and that you are an open person with different opinions. Show also that you are emotionally affected. Look at the speaker directly by giving extra eye contact and avoid being distracted by side talks or by your devices such as mobile phone or laptop. Be aware also that turning your back to the participant while giving them space to talk, in case you are writing on the board or hanging a panel on the wall, gives the impression of neglecting the speaker.

Finally, remember: "There is no greater gift to learn than being a listener and no greater gift you can offer others than listening to them."

Discover our Diploma in Training of Trainers to put your new listening skills into practice.


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