People will be happier and more successful if they get better at something they like every day. It’s through this search for their own perfection, for the full realization of their whole potential, that they can feel accomplished. And it’s precisely the passion of those who work in training and development that feeds them to help others to be better and reach professional fulfillment.
Below, I’ve listed 10 keys to grow your expertise as a professional in the field of training and development.
The person who is clear about what competencies must be promoted will be able to take actions to strengthen them day by day.
- Start from the premise that training and development have an increasingly greater importance
Successfully executing a company’s strategy means training expert talent in its key positions. To the extent that you have a greater capacity to train and make that talent grow, the value of your contribution to the company (as a training and development professional) will grow.
- Focus on your passion
Do you feel an inner calling to foster people’s growth through training and development processes and strategies? It’s worth noting that this call is different from those who feel a passion for being in front of a group as trainers (instructors or teachers).
- Specify the area where you want to grow your expertise
With greater specialization comes a higher probability of becoming an expert, but there is also a risk of being subject to changes in trends. To what point should you seek out specializations? There aren’t any recipes. Analysis and informed forecasting are part of a personal endeavor. Obviously, someone who states their field of specialty as “talent development” will be more of a generalist than someone who describes themselves as an “instructional designer of eLearning courses.”
- Build your expertise
You aren’t born with expertise—you develop it. The route is: 1) Identify the skills you should develop. 2) For each skill, specify what knowledge and abilities you need to develop. 3) Make a list of the tasks that will help you gain this knowledge or develop those abilities. If you have a clear idea about what skills you should improve, you can take actions to make progress on them day after day.
- Be patient and practice deliberately
If experts are not born, but made, then superior performance is not for someone who’s impatient. If you can understand that building expertise is the sum and combination of a series of skills (point 4), it will be easy to understand the importance of constantly practicing and being patient.
- Master the process
As in all fields of knowledge, training and development have a process that you should master. This includes being capable of designing a talent development strategy (setting objectives, goals, indicators, skills per position, an education model); identifying training needs and designing individual development plans; designing world-class learning experiences (content creation or adaptation, instructional design, design of multi-experience programs); facilitating the training; enriching processes with digital technology; evaluating the training; determining the KPI and return on investment; and encouraging a culture of learning in the organization.
- Use the services of an expert business coach
In sports, we see how, day after day, an expert coach makes athletes get the best out of themselves. This also happens in our field, but not just any coach can help you reach a superior level. You need someone who knows the factors that bring about success in the field of training and development, who motivates you while also providing feedback, and who has the expertise to fine-tune, resulting in your achievement of better performance.
- Pay the cost
A good coach is fundamental, but in the end, you’ll always need to put in the effort, to be willing to receive feedback, to have the character and the initiative of someone who wishes to be an expert. You should be willing to pay the cost of your effort.
- Propose projects with a financial return
The company will be willing to invest in training projects if it clearly perceives the financial benefits. Therefore, it’s necessary to speak in business terms and demonstrate the return on the investment.
- Strengthen your communication skills
Training is communication in many settings. It requires great listening skills to recognize the needs while also having the capability to develop messages that are clear, concise, effective, and persuasive to influence and inspire a diverse range of people who have an influence on the company’s training (the stakeholders).
By growing your expertise, you’ll gain enough skills to face the next opportunity that presents itself. If you become better in the training and development field each day, your contribution will have a greater value and, therefore, your success won’t come from external conditions or simply be based on luck. It will be the result of your work and efforts, and your professional happiness will grow along with it. ”
About the author:
René Mena Seifert is the creator, founder, and CEO of IDESAA, TRUE e-Learning, and Foro Pro-Talento Empresarial. He specializes in the design and implementation of business solutions based on training and talent development projects that are customized for companies.