Leadership Excellence for Trainers “Move your AIMS”

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Key Notes:

  • Trainers are supposed to be leaders
  • Leaders require the 3 F’s: Fantastic, Future, Follower
  • Leading trainers need to constantly adjust their targets (“AIMS”) in order to cope with the fast changing environment
  • AIMS is not only a synonym for “targets” but also an acronym for the 4 ingredients of successful leaders: Awareness, Innovation, Motivation, Socialization

Like it or not, trainers are leaders – leading individuals, groups or even complete organizations towards better personal and corporate performances. Hence, trainers should claim this leadership and act accordingly. Here are some tips how to succeed as trainer and leader by focusing on the right attitude and the right actions.

As for the attitude, leaders require the 3 F’s: Fantastic, Future, and Follower.

Leaders are fantastic since they are charismatic, energetic, neat in appearance and full of positivism. Leaders praise others for success while analyzing themselves in case of defeats. A leader comments “a lousy job done” as “this could be done better”.

Leaders are future oriented. They don’t look back or lament on past mishaps, since the future is bright with a clear vision at the horizon.

Last but not least, a real leader is also a good follower, supporting her / his respective leader to succeed. Listening, understanding and constructively commenting are attitudes of such “leading followers”.

As for the actions on the other side, leaders constantly adjust their targets to the changing environment by revisiting their AIMS, namely

  • Awareness
  • Innovation
  • Motivation
  • Socialization

The sequence of Awareness, Innovation, Motivation and Socialization is purposely chosen, not only to form the nice acronym “AIMS” as synonym to “targets” but also in order to prioritize the sequence. First and most importantly, leaders have to know themselves as well as the other around them. Only once they are aware of persons and situations, they can be effectively innovative. Motivation will then help to get the innovation results implemented. The social part finally, is like the glue holding the AIM together.

The following part describes all four AIMS stages more in detail.

1. Awareness:
Trainers like leaders have to understand themselves and the way others perceive them. Hence, trainers need to be open to feedback from their audience. Ideally, every training session concludes with a survey whereby the trainees rate the trainer’s performance. It further helps if trainers are aware of their personal core values and desired targets based on which courses are delivered. In short: Get to know your 3 W’s:

  • Who am I (self-awareness)?
  • What do I stand for (personal values)?
  • Where do I want to go (personal mission)?

2. Innovation:
Leading trainers are creative and have innovative ideas to constantly improve the training material as well as the course facilitation. Since trainers are never satisfied with the status quo, they continuously update themselves by getting trained as well. Hence, leading trainers are:

  • Creative thinkers
  • Continuous learners
  • Change leaders

3. Motivation:
Nothing is worse than a boring trainer. The art of training is therefore the creation of concerted interaction among trainees as well as between trainer and trainees. This is motivated by precise communication and clear language as well as by the use of multimedia
(e.g. videos) and relevant exercises. Memory joggers and simplified graphs or pictures support the learning success and hence motivate the trainees additionally. Hence, leading trainers are:

  • Communication champions
  • People developers
  • Entertainers

4. Socialization:
Last but not least, trainers need extremely high social skills since their daily bread is all about people. Successful trainers use coffee breaks to mingle with the trainees in order to better understand their organization and individual training needs. They are also diversity savvy by embracing different cultures, races, genders and nationalities actively in their coursers. Furthermore, trainers should act as role model, triggering others to follow their positive attitude and social responsibility. Hence, leading trainers are:

  • Net-workers
  • Multi-culture experts
  • Socially Responsible

In conclusion:
1. Be a fantastic, future oriented leading trainer – who also knows how to humbly follow others
2. Constantly move your AIMS in order to be and remain on top of the training industry