Subscribe to my newsletter EDM News
When training, provide context
15 February 2012, by , in Data Management, 2 comments

One of the most important things you can do when training new users in a database is to provide context. That is, prior to actually training someone on how to do something, take just a minute or two to explain WHAT you’re going to be doing, and WHY we’re using the database to do this. Too often trainers assume that everyone in the room is starting from the same point of understanding.

For example, when training on how to manage committee data, an introduction of context might look something like this:

“The next section we’re working in is committee management. The purpose of this area is to allow us to manage who is on a given committee, what position they are serving in, the term of their service, and track history (who served back when). In addition, this area will allow us to easily communicate with members of the committee via email. I’ll be walking you through how to create a committee, add people to a committee, assign positions and terms, and how to communicate with them as a group.”

With that simple bit of context, all users now have some sense of where they are and where they are headed with this training. Too often, though, trainers jump right in at “exercise one,” which requires the learners to mentally catch up with the trainer.

Remember, with training it’s always: Tell me what you’re going to do; do it; and tell me what you did.

About author:

2 Comments on "When training, provide context"

Sigmund VanDamme - 15 February 2012 Reply

Wes, Seems like a simple thing but so important. Similarly, I coach youth hockey to 8 year olds and USA Hockey stresses the importance of making sure the athlete knows not only why they are doing a training drill (say because an using your inside and outside edges helps you become a better skater) but why that matters (to play hockey a player needs to be a great skater) to the athlete and the team. I often try to communicate (sell?) the value of a training concept to the student. Explaining how this will, in tangible terms, make his or her job easier or give some ROI to the organization. Individuals are, unfortunately, sometimes put into training courses with no expectations or explanation of what the end results of the training will be. -Sig

    Wes Trochlil - 15 February 2012 Reply

    Good thoughts, Sig, thanks for commenting.

Leave a Reply

Archives

Sign-up for EDM News

 

 

Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
%d bloggers like this: