"Anyone can be a trainer or facilitator. It's no big deal. You just stand up and talk about a subject that you know a lot about"
I remember the first time I was told this. I had just started work in the NHS and I was talking to a consultant surgeon just before he led a section of a development programme I was facilitating.
I was quite taken aback by his attitude. Of course, his job as a surgeon requires A LOT of specific knowledge and training. It takes years of studying to develop enough knowledge to even be allowed NEAR a real, live patient. But just because:
someone has specialist knowledge of a subject
someone is good at public speaking
anyone can stand in front of a room of people and talk
It doesn't mean that they SHOULD do this. It doesn't automatically mean that the people attending the session learnt anything, or left with any intention to change their behaviour.
And at the end of the day, that is what training, learning and development is all about. It's about getting someone to do something differently. Inspiring them to improve their performance, getting them to work in a new way or with new people effectively....
And that requires a particular set of skills and knowledge. It is both art and science to understand how people learn and change AND to apply that successfully to create and deliver learning which makes a difference.
I do believe that anyone can train or teach others - but only if they have acquired the knowledge and developed the skills to ensure their success.
What do you think? Can anyone just stand up and train/facilitate? I'd love to hear your views - join us on twitter or facebook and let me know what you think.