How to Identify Potential Trainers in Your Business

I often get asked by clients how they can identify potential trainers in their business. Clients ask me who would make a good trainer, and what sort of skills, qualities or attributes they should have.

I have thought long and hard about this, and it is not an easily definable area. However, I do think there are certain attributes, skills or qualities to look for when identifying potential trainers. I have listed some of these below, and some potential questions to ask:


What have they done in their present role to show their credibility as a trainer? Do people ask them for help? Do they have experience and technical competence in their area of work? Do they perform consistently to high standards and are they aware of and in contact with ‘shop floor’ issues?

Coaching/Feedback Skills

Do they have examples of coaching others, or giving feedback to someone on their performance? How did they give that feedback? Can they demonstrate:

  • Consideration for individuals feelings
  • Set the venue appropriately
  • Used appropriate language
  • Talked about specific standards met/ not met
  • Discussed improvements to be made
  • Discussed how to make those improvements
  • Agreed action and followed up

Commitment and motivation to develop staff

Have they developed themselves in the last 12 months? For example:

  • Attended training programmes
  • Asked for feedback on performance
  • Specific targets worked towards
  • Out of work courses/ night school
  • Taken on extra work/ responsibilities

Commitment and motivation to develop others

What have they done to develop others in the last 12 months? For example:

  • Discussed development options
  • Set reading
  • Training programmes
  • Specific targets
  • Cross training
  • Multi-skilling
  • Coaching session
  • Counselling session
  • Feedback
  • Helped solve problems

Verbal Skills

For example, do they:

  • Speak clearly and concisely
  • Answer questions appropriately
  • Explain information in a simple & logical way, avoiding too much jargon
  • Listen effectively

Written Skills

Do they write in a clear and legible way? Do they use appropriate language?

Key Qualities

There are lots of qualities that could be listed here. But you could ask for evidence and/or observe that they are approachable, empathetic, honest and trustworthy, have integrity, are non judgemental and patient, but most of all do they have a sense of humour and passion to make the training fun and memorable.

This is by all means not a definitive list, but it may be a starting point in identifying the right type of person to attend a train the trainer progamme. Do you have anything to add? What would make a good trainer in your business? I would welcome your comments.

Best wishes


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