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Chapter 23. Honing the Team Members' Ski... > Formal and Informal Training Program... - Pg. 304

Honing the Team Members' Skills 304 When considering outside training, steer clear of programs that promise miracles. If they sound too good to be true, they are too good to be true. Your best bet is to use wellestablished, proven training programs. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Ask for references. Get the names of several past and present clients. Make sure you speak with clients who used the service several years ago. Ask them about the long-term values received from the training. Ask if they would use the firm again. Sit in on a current training class. If the firm gives public programs, either attend a session yourself or send one of your members. If the type of program you want isn't offered publicly, but at another company, ask that company for permission to attend. Ask to see a random selection of past program evaluations. Look for patterns of positive and negative factors. For example, I recently read a batch of evaluations that indicated the in- structor was a dynamic, exciting speaker, but also noted that he did not encourage group participation. As participation was key to my client's objectives, we didn't select that trainer. Who is going to do the instruction? Make sure that the instructor is an expert in the field in which you need help. One of my clients needed training in Total Quality Management and retained a prestigious consulting firm. But the trainer they assigned had only a superficial knowledge of that area. Interview the principal of the firm and the assigned instructor. Be wary of programs that advertise training "gimmicks" that promise to give your employees motivational or improved interpersonal relations skills. Many of these programs are great fun to attend, but rarely provide long-term benefits. Over the years, programs such as EST, Theory Z, and others have come and gone. Overcoming Resistance to Training Team leaders may occasionally have members who resist going for training, especially in the soft