What type of training participant are you?


Software training is a critical piece of the new software implementation process. You would think that, as adults, training participants show up and fight for the seats at the front of the class, right? Maybe not. Training participants can usually be categorized into one of three profiles: the prisoner, the tourist and the explorer.


If you've attended training, you’ve most likely seen at least one of them in action (you may have been one of these types yourself). Let’s explore these three profiles and see if we can understand their behaviour.

The Prisoner

This is the person that goes into training acting like they’re being punished for a crime they did not commit. As Red in The Shawshank Redemption says, “Everyone's innocent in here, don't you know that?”

The prisoner is often a by-product of a communication breakdown. The management team or the person who coordinated the training may have not fully explained the reason for training and its significance. In fact, the prisoner may have just been informed prior to, or at, the training session that they will be using new software. This raises defenses as the prisoner may not want change. 

The Tourist

This is the person that has no plans of taking part in the training. It’s the day they can text their buddies, watch hilarious cat videos or answer email. 

For commercial brokerages, the tourist is often the producer(s). Why? Because they often feel like they won't have to know how software works because, "someone back at the office" will do all the work. 

The Explorer

This is the person that is looking forward to training and sees the benefits of learning something new. Fortunately, the majority of training participants are explorers. They’re enthusiastic, prepared and ask a lot of relevant questions.

Enthusiasm and preparedness are typically signs that their managers or employers have clearly communicated:
  • why a new software system has been chosen;
  • why they were chosen for training;
  • what is on the training agenda;
  • when the training will take place and duration;
  • how the training will affect their daily work activities and routines;
  • what the expectations of the attendee are with respect to using the new software; and
  • what are the long-term goals after the training has taken place.

If you've ever attended training, which one are you: prisoner, tourist, or explorer? You can’t change the behaviour of others in the class but you can change the way you approach a training day. People only change when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same. Now is the time to discover you inner Magellan and wander into uncharted territory, you’ll never know what you’ll discover!

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Topics: Training