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Training Manager’s Strategic Endowments

March 14, 2010

One day I was chatting with my old friend. He was asking me how to make his training session interesting, since he had a challenging situation regarding it. I did not really answer his question. Instead, I pointed out on it generally, that a trainer should be able to inspire others. Then he said to me that to be inspiring is something instinctive; that he did not have it; that I was naturally inspiring, so I could be a training manager and he couldn’t.

My friend is not the only one who thinks that a trainer corresponds to something spellbinding – you have to be able to practice hypnosis and other similar skills. Matter of fact, being a trainer is not merely about being fascinating. It’s more about your flexibility in changing roles, in combining natural and developed skills, to inspire others.

Being a trainer is not only for certain people. It’s for everyone who cares enough to develop others. And there’s no hidden secret in it. As long as you can develop what’s in Training Manager’s Strategic Endowments, you can be a trainer.

The Endowments should work as your personal periodic check-list that you have to bring everywhere you go. That way, you are able to know which areas are to be improved. And as there’s nobody’s perfect, don’t expect to fully complete your check-list with the score 100 out of 100. Because being a trainer is not a destination, it is a journey – a continuous journey where there is no end.

The Endowments are:

  1. Knowledge of training, learning and the business as a whole;
  2. Knowledge of the function of the training department, training options available and differing learning and training styles;
  3. Having a systematic approach to training, an understanding of design, tailored training and an appreciation of the challenges trainers face;
  4. Knowledge of HR and the strategic developments in the HR/T&D world;
  5. Understanding of key techniques – TNA, evaluation, transfer of learning (putting learning in to practice in the workplace);
  6. Able to develop policy and strategy;
  7. Aware of sources of advice, materials, suppliers and contacts;
  8. An ambassador of training and development; able to promote new approaches to learning and development as appropriate;
  9. Excellent consultancy skills; able to use training to change and organize organizational development;
  10. Marketing skills; a good understanding of internal marketing and publicity, a good networker;
  11. Responsible, reliable and accountable, ethical and able to instill a clear sense of purpose in others;
  12. Able to develop a culture of high standards, excellent quality and customer responsiveness;
  13. Good decision maker, able to recognise the impact of decisions, having good judgment;
  14. A Problem solver, dealing with practical, people and ‘political’ problems;
  15. Innovative, able to develop new concepts and to deliver creative solutions;
  16. An understanding of technology and its role in T&D – from e-learning to training administration systems, being computer literate;
  17. Having financial acumen, discerning value and an ability to tackle ROI issues;
  18. Procurement and contract management skills; able to get the best from training suppliers;
  19. Able to manage and develop trainers and to manage administrators and administrative processes;
  20. Approachable; someone who others seek out for advice;
  21. Good communicator, able to present with credibility and authority;
  22. Assertive; commanding respect;
  23. Well organized; a ‘knowledge manager’;
  24. Able to plan, and then be flexible within that plan;
  25. Competent negotiator, always able to see the win/win situation;
  26. Is Proactive, having drive and commitment;
  27. Effective at managing client and stakeholder relationships;
  28. Willing to challenge and push boundaries;
  29. Willing to listen and build rapport;
  30. Able to give good and consistent advice;
  31. Able to think strategically and at an individual level;
  32. Able to influence upwards;
  33. Able to influence sideways;
  34. Able to influence downwards;
  35. Able to influence outwards.

Be aware of your strength and weakness. Develop your strength and improve your weakness. A good action plan will do you more than good.

Enjoy inspiring others!

(Contribution of Tedi Irawan)


  • Sean McPheat, The Training Manager’s Bible,
  • Sharon L. Bowman, The Ten-Minute Trainer: 150 Ways to Teach it Quick & Make it Stick, Pfeiffer, San Fransisco, 2005.
  • Geoffrey Moss, Inspire Action!: The Trainer’s Resource Book, Vikas, New Delhi, 2005.

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