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Essential Training Skills for Managers 2

Copyright 2004 R.G. Srinivasan




Learning objectives is the articulation of the outcome we want to achieve from the training

The manager as a trainer gets started by identifying the quick gaps in SKA (Skills, Knowledge, and Attitude) which can be handled at their levels rather than wait for elaborate training interventions.

Let's go to the next area of training that is setting clear objectives for training your direct reports. Before that we must understand what is learning to enable us to set clear objectives.

Learning can be defined as the ability to exercise intellectual and creative powers, understand, judge, solve problems and communicate. While there are many learning theories we need not go into all them here. We only need to understand the basics of how the adults learn.

Adults like to learn by Active Experimentation like simulations, case study, problem solving and group discussions.

Adults like to learn through observation. Logs journals and brain storming provide scope for observation and reflection on and interpretation of ideas.

Adults like to learn through focus on single concepts - how does this relate to that. Case studies, theory readings, lectures, papers and analogies are the method for this type of adult learning.

Adults like to be pragmatic with concrete experience as the base of their learning - field work, laboratories, and experiential sessions. How can I apply this in practice is the key issue for such adults.

Keeping adult learning styles in the background we must proceed to the next step that is setting learning objectives and goals.

Learning objectives is the articulation of the outcome we want to achieve from the training. The learning objective may be defined by three types of learning as ABC.
1. Affective 2. Behavioral 3. Cognitive

Affective Learning is predominantly formation or change of attitudes, feelings and preferences. This can be equated with Attitude of KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude)

Behavioral learning ( Skills) includes development of competence in performance of certain operations, procedures, methods and techniques. Acquisition of skills is a major area of training.

Cognitive Learning (Knowledge) deals with acquisition of new concepts, information and theories which help improve performance and productivity.

While setting objective it is important to remember if all 3 types of learning are addressed the learning and change process would be more lasting. However situation may warrant addressing only one area of learning.

Why is it important to set objectives of training? Objectives are clear unambiguous statement of what we want to achieve through a series of activities that will be detailed in the training design.

"If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?" Training objectives are needed to clearly define as to what the training is setting out to achieve and what the learners are going to achieve at the end of it.

Without a training objective the training session may ramble on without focus and may well end up as a free for all group discussion with the trainer or facilitator having no control over the training program.

The objective should specify

- The outcomes at the end of the program
- How the trainees will demonstrate the extent of
- The standard they need to achieve to confirm their
new competence
- A time bound action plan to achieve the Objectives

Make sure your training objectives are directly linked to your business objectives. Ultimately the purpose of all training is to improve business performance through enhanced productivity.

The next step for the Manager as a trainer, which we will see in the part 3 of this article, is to actually design the training intervention keeping in mind the training objectives.


About the Author

R.G. Srinivasan is founder of Born to Win Forum. He is a certified trainer and consultant in training design & methodologies. He is also the author of e-books, publishes 2 ezines on success and motivation and Home Business. His articles are published widely in many websites. He is featured as an Expert Author by leading content syndication sites. Check out his success & motivational ezine at