Given a chance to do it all over again, I will stand in front of the whiteboard and speak with eloquence about the objective. This time, with fewer agents to train, I will give pep talks between discussions to motivate them to do good in their new account. I will drop punchlines to catch their attention and try, as much as possible to have an interactive session about the concepts they need to learn. I will create a relaxing atmosphere where trainees never fear to express their thoughts. I will never pass judgment, nor embarrass when they pick the wrong answer. Learning will depend on their ability to focus - the trainer being a mere provider of things their heads must absorb. I will exude confidence, loosen up while presenting ideas and lead like the training room is my little kingdom. When agents return to their workstations, they may never remember everything. But hopefully, they will keep the essence of my training.
This is my kind of scene.
Two days after the appalling performance with the bigger batch of trainees, I was asked to handle four agents from the graveyard shift. They were singled out after a supervisor missed including their names in the list of agents to be trained. Hours before the training started, my superior officer sent a text message informing me that she is suffering from a bad case of stomachache. Confident that I could manage the batch on my own, I told her to rest and recuperate after working two straight weeks to prepare everyone for the heavy workload coming next month.
The agents came early. I wasted no time to introduce the subject, including the areas of discussion that we have to cover. Before we proceeded to the overview, I told them to focus their thoughts on Madam Auring.
"Forget Joe D' Mango, she will be your character from now on" I candidly said. This mindset setting is required for the job.
The absence of a superior officer had forced me to trust my own approaches in passing knowledge. I cannot deny that reasons for my mental black out last time was the presence of Mami Athena standing next to the whiteboard to observe my performance. You see, when a brilliant officer enters my space, I buckle down from the pressure and begin to question my methods. She saved me last time by admitting to the trainees that it was my first time to handle such a big batch, but when she left to do other things, I recollected my thoughts and continued with the training.
The agents were more receptive this time. Thanks to a colleague friend who also joined the training. Nobody seemed bored and they were more eager to learn than worry about their transfer to the new account. They asked questions when concepts appear difficult to process and laughed whenever the examples I showed were candid and hilarious. The howling of the AC was drowned by the constant chatter, movements between chairs, and by the monotone voice of a lone trainer trying his best not to stutter while delivering his presentation in front of the batch.
Note taking is a good sign of retention. They will learn.
Though the batch spent longer time lounging, all concepts and guidelines of the account were covered during the shift. The superior officer, despite her gastric condition had a cameo appearance as well. She corrected the exercise we did to assess the trainees, and when she felt satisfied with the result, I was relieved.
The training was cut short when our time ran out. The agents gleefully left the room save for one who asked me to have a cigarette break. This trainee, which we personally handpicked for the account is someone I have worked with in the past. We were tag-team agents then. His return to the company boosted the morale of everyone. As we have expected, he remains one of the best performer in the service.
"Thanks nga pala Totoy Baliko..." I confided while smoking near the lobby.
"Para saan, ako nga dapat mag Thank you sa training mo eh. Nakakatawa kaya hindi mahirap ma-intindihan." He said.
Before we left the training room, my superior officer asked.
"Do you really enjoy doing trainings?"
"Oo naman! Although, I get tense sometimes. But what's important is that I get to help you. Right?"
"Tremendously. Since you've learned much from the Management Seminar, and you're able to handle the training naman without my presence,
I'm thinking of passing it over to you."