“To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful.” Hellmut Walters
Trainers do not have instant credibility simply because they are the trainer. There are three actions that the trainer needs to take.
- Explain the basis for statements and beliefs
Trainers who have experience and are able to give real life stories and examples have immediate credibility.
However, less seasoned or experienced (and often younger) trainers can still be credible if they have relevant education or have researched what more experienced and respected individuals have determined.
In such cases, the trainers need to speak with confidence about what they know rather than be apologetic about the experience they don’t have.
- Model the skills that are being taught.
It is difficult for learners to believe trainers who do not practice what they teach.
A trainer who is teaching active listening skills needs to use them when communicating with participants. A trainer who is teaching non-defensive communication skills needs to respond in a non-defensive manner when confronted by a participant.
Trainers are much more credible if the participants can observe them put theory into practice.
- Admit limitations.
Trainers who are open and honest about what they know and what they don’t know are much more credible than trainers who pretend to know what they are talking about.
However, it is not enough to simply say: “I don’t know the answer to that question.” The trainer needs to be humble enough to ask the participants if they know the answer- and welcome their input. I have trained and certified trainers for over thirty years and I always learn from the participants in my courses.
If no one knows the answer, the trainer then needs to promise to find the answer and follow through in getting the answer back to the participants.
Learners are much more likely to trust trainers who are open and honest about the source of their information, actively use the skills they are teaching, and are willing to admit when they don’t know something- and then follow up to provide the answer.
Contact me here if you would like Ten Ways to Bore Your Audience to Death, so you can avoid doing so!
May your learning be sweet- and safe.
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