Developing effective ways of training new skills for individuals

Last week, I trained my best friend in website development and management. What struck me was how individuals have different ways of learning whether that would be visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. It got me thinking about my approaches to training and developing new skills for individuals.

I must admit, the way that I trained a friend up in website development and management was slightly rushed due to time. It had gave me some useful lessons going forward in my consulting skills in which I can identify one or two areas to work on rather than four unnecessary skills that go off on tangents.

Whilst I can specialise in data visualisation, Tableau, journalism, multimedia, data journalism, the focus of that meeting has to focus on a main subject matter. If you are going all over the place in training a person up in that skill and you’re going off on an area that they had not signed up for, time will be wasted spent learning something irrelevant to the subject.

That’s why I think it’s hugely important when you are training an individual or individuals in new skills, you have to understand what that person wants from you. I’m training another person on Tuesday morning about search engine optimisation and website development and the first thing I did was ask what they wanted to learn from me.

This is important because unless you ask someone what skills they want to learn, it becomes difficult to know what the person wants from you. It’s so critical that you listen to the individual so that you can formulate solutions in an efficient manner rather than assume that person has already learned x, y and z skills.

With that being said, applying this into practice has ensured that my best practices for working have developed me not only into a better worker, but also a better trainer and teacher. There will be more opportunities for me to teach small and large-scale audiences new skills through presentations and meetups, it’s all about gaining experience.

Practice makes perfect and there is no doubt I will continue to train new and existing individuals in data visualisation, Tableau and a whole host of skills I have in my repertoire. It will only come with time, but the most important thing when training someone a new skill or software is to let the person develop at their own pace.

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