In many cases, having exceptional soft skills can be the difference between being a good professional and a great one. In many roles, however, one cannot succeed without a strong set of soft skills in their inventory. One such role is that of a trainer.
Those who work in training have to stay up to date on the latest trends, changes in their expert field and other practices that are relevant to their specialities. However, it does not matter how expert they are or how experienced and knowledgeable they may be, without soft skills, they cannot successfully teach, coach or train others.
We’re bringing it back to basics, and we’ve compiled a list of the most important soft skills that trainers should have to be successful. Note that these are also relevant to an array of management, leadership or even team member positions!
Problem Solving Skills
As a trainer, you will face challenges and issues that can arise at any time. This could be an unforeseen obstacle during the delivery of your training. Equally, problem-solving can mean recognising skills gaps in teams or individuals or helping an individual who may be struggling with the format or delivery of the training. A truly effective trainer can solve the many problems they face on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, but can also identify problems that are not immediately obvious.
Essentially, problem-solving skills not only help during learning sessions but also help make development programs more effective in the long run.
Similarly, trainers should have an adaptive mindset. On the one hand, this means, like above, being able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and be able to quickly and productively adjust to new approaches without it impacting the quality of your training. On the other hand, adaptability means not being too set in your ways. In order to maintain success, trainers have to be open to new approaches dependent on a range of elements such as the specific group of learners or simply the passing of time and how it changes the environment.
A crucial skill for any professional, communication skills allow one to clearly express themselves to any individual. Communication skills involve listening, speaking, observing and empathising. Being able to quickly read another person and understand how to effectively communicate with them is an important skill, especially when it comes to transferring knowledge or a skill.
Communication skills include but are not limited to…
- Active listening.
- Adapting communication style
- Giving constructive feedback. …
- Nonverbal communication
- Written communication.
- Oral communication.
Management & Organisational Skills
As trainers or coaches, people need to continually develop their management and interpersonal skills to facilitate training properly and better support their trainees. This incorporates organisational skills too, as trainers need to be able to work with people, lead others, be decisive and keep timing restraints.
Trainers mustn’t only know how to structure their sessions in interesting and practical ways, they must keep their time organised and coordinate with the logistics of sessions.
Emotional intelligence is defined by the ability to understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of those around you. You must have emotional intelligence to maintain professional relations, influence others, and know how to navigate different groups of people and situations.
Emotional intelligence allows trainers to be skilled in conflict management; socially aware of what is going on around them; effectively communicate and be self-aware of their own emotions, skillsets and weaknesses. With a higher emotional intelligence, a trainer can become a more effective leader and develop a more productive work environment for themselves and others.
This list is not an exhaustive list of what makes a good trainer. In fact, there are several other factors such as subject expertise, confidence, versatility and passion that make someone an excellent trainer. However, ensuring a strong set of soft skills is the basis for success, and arguably one cannot succeed as a trainer without the above five skills.
A trainers very job is to educate others, but their own development is crucial too. Trainer Bubble offers a variety of training materials, including downloadable resources and e-learning courses that can help equip trainers with better soft skills. Being able to assess one’s own skillset and recognise space for improvement indicates high emotional intelligence, and using the right tools to fill those gaps makes you a better professional and better equipped to train others for success.