Train the Trainer Brings Success Beyond the Workplace
Lou Bradshaw, a Manufacturing and Service Manager for a machine tools company, didn’t intend to participate in the German American Chamber of Commerce’s Train the Trainer Seminar, but when his coworker who was scheduled to attend couldn’t make it, Bradshaw took his place and ended up exceling in the training.
“I enjoyed Train the Trainer very much and found it to be a very positive, enlightening experience,” he said. Bradshaw did so well on the exam that he was invited to be on the Train the Trainer Exam Board. He’s now been a part of the seminar’s evaluation process for 3 years.
Train the Trainer is an extensive seminar designed to help trainers do their jobs more effectively through both practical and theoretical tools, reviewing concepts such as learning styles, communication techniques, planning methods, and more. Based on international training standards, it is tailored for US manufacturing personnel but can be customized for non-technical training as well. Participants can apply the skills and methods learned in the seminar to situations across industries and in their professional and personal lives.
Bradshaw can attest to that—he often uses lessons from Train the Trainer in his day to day. When his wife was having issues with her assistant at work, Bradshaw explained the techniques he learned on giving and receiving feedback, which helped her approach the problem strategically. Additionally, outside of work, Bradshaw is an umpire for high school softball and baseball games, and he’s taken on several “apprentice umpires,” using the Train the Trainer methodology to train them successfully. “If you don’t have the right techniques, your training won’t be as effective,” he said.
When he participated in the seminar, one comment by his trainer especially stood out to him: “The success and the failure of every apprentice is largely within the control of the manager or the mentor.” It caused him to reflect on the employees he has managed throughout his professional career and remains a focal point when he trains others today.
“Every time I interact with people I supervise, I keep in mind that their success and failure is mostly on me, and that has changed my management style,” Bradshaw said. “It motivates me even more to employ the techniques I gained from Train the Trainer to ensure I’m providing the best possible training.”
As a member of the Train the Trainer Exam Board, Bradshaw finds himself an expert in these training methods—he has to know them inside and out in order to evaluate seminar participants. His favorite part about being involved in Train the Trainer is interacting with participants, and he enjoys learning about industries different than his own. Bradshaw said one of the most interesting things for him is that, because Train the Trainer’s methods are so standardized, he’s able to evaluate those taking the exam even if he’s unfamiliar with the specialized equipment they’re using.
Overall, Bradshaw highly recommends Train the Trainer to anyone, no matter their industry.
“The things that you learn in this seminar can easily be applied to interactions with not just people that are your direct reports or your apprentices, but also your coworkers, and in some cases your supervisors,” he said. “These communication techniques are invaluable to your day-to-day life.”