Excelling as an ‘Accidental Trainer’

This post is written by Chat2lrn Crew Member, Lisa Goldstein. Lisa started her career in the four and five star hospitality industry and ended up being recruited in L&D to share her knowledge of best in class customer service.  During this journey she realized how much she enjoyed helping others to succeed, especially those also finding themselves in the role of an ‘accidental trainer’.

It seems that when I talk to other professionals in a Learning and Development role, I find that so few say that they have known since they were very young that when they grew up, they were going to do the type of job that they do today.  As Learning and Development Professionals, our backgrounds are so very diverse.  Some of us started off as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) or simply individuals who were really good at their jobs. We may have started off in teaching or moved into the position of teaching others how to do those roles as best as they can.  Our roles and our skills vary and are becoming even more diverse.  From small audiences to large we adapt. The way that training is delivered varies from live instructor led training (ILT) to virtual instructor in both synchronous and asynchronous classrooms and beyond. From being an eLearning designer to producing ‘just in time’ job aids and even more.  So, how do you succeed in this role as an ‘accidental trainer’?

Throughout my career as an ‘accidental trainer’, I know I have grown exponentially better at what I do.  This has been primarily because of the brilliant people I’m lucky enough to have made contact with during my career.   Whether that be through simple association via social media and/or as close industry friends. This experience has given me an opportunity to learn from others on a regular basis. I now find that the people I engage with are my most valuable resource.

In our next #Chat2Lrn conversation, we’ll talk more about what it means to be an ‘accidental trainer’ and discuss as a group more ways we can continue to excel in our role.

Additional posts and resources on this topic:

The Accidental Trainer by Shannon Tipton

Do You Really Need an Instructional Design Degree? by Tom Kuhlmann, Articulate

Getting Started in eLearning by Lisa Goldstein

How to Blossom as an Instructional Designer by Ethan Edwards, Allen Interactions

The Accidental Instructional Designer book by Cammy Bean

1 thought on “Excelling as an ‘Accidental Trainer’

  1. Thank you for the mention! As you can imagine I feel strongly about the topic of “accidental trainer” as I started out as one many, many moons ago. I also feel strongly that the role of being an “accidental trainer” should be temporary one. That is where the journey (for most us) starts, the goal is leave the “accidental trainer” in the rear view mirror and through education (either formal or self-driven) begin taking the journey toward Learning Professional, Performance Consultant, and Business Partner. Being an “accidental trainer” cannot be an excuse for our lack of information or acceptance of tribal knowledge. “Accidental Trainers” have to start somewhere, but to truly evolve, you have to start your own research and be deeply curious about the learning profession. To properly kick off the shift from one to the other, here is a post from way back: 5 Tips to Starting Your Own Revolution: http://wp.me/p4HOVW-9

    I hope you enjoy the post, and cheers to everyone and their continuous journey.

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