Late January of 2010, I did something that had always scared me – something that I never thought I could do… I jumped out of a perfectly good plane 30,000 feet above ground and lived to tell about it.
I’ll spare you the details leading up to the jump (we can set aside time for that another day or over a cup of coffee) but what I will tell you are the two important lessons I learned during my skydiving experience – lessons that are very relevant to my career as a corporate trainer.
First, I had a professional, an expert, guiding me through the entire process.
As a newbie, I was already terrified of the jump but felt a little bit at ease because I was going to have a tandem instructor strapped to my back and coaching me step by step.
As a Corporate Trainer, I have to remind myself of what it must feel like to be the student who needs to learn an entirely new analytics software. As the expert, I’m familiar with the ins and outs of the system and how to troubleshoot issues. I’m there to coach them along the way.
Second, the safety measures were so rigorous and comprehensive that the risk of failure felt minimal.
The team gave me guidance and told me the best practices to protect myself. I felt safe and was confident that I was in good hands.
As the instructor, it’s my responsibility to help students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to their day to day activities. Teach them the best practices, how to troubleshoot and ensure that they can apply the key concepts on their own.
After all that preparation, I was ready for that 40 second free fall – well kind of, I still screamed my head off and when my parachute and my eyes finally opened, I saw this beautiful ocean view and enjoyed every second I could.
Thanks to my instructor’s expertise and guidance, I wasn’t that terrified and I was able to accomplish something so much bigger than I could do on my own. By keeping these two lessons in mind, I’m sure that this will improve future training sessions with my students and hopefully help you as a trainer as well.
Remember, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and get a feel for how the content you’re teaching will be perceived by them. Good luck!