Do you remember that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? (“Which one!” you ask. “Every scene is brilliant!”) I’m talking about the one with the boring economics professor who keeps asking, “Anyone? Anyone?” Imagine if that guy were your law firm trainer and the students were your staff. Can you imagine anything more deadly to your law firm training program? And, hence, to the technological advancement of your firm?
In order to be effective, a good law firm trainer must be dynamic and must engage his or her students! Even Socrates knew that, to be an effective teacher, he would have to engage his students’ minds. He said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Do you think that economics teacher was kindling flames? Maybe flames of anarchy…
So, without any further ado, I would like to share my thoughts on the Top 5 Traits and Characteristics that You Should Seek in a Law Firm Trainer.
1. Dynamic Personality
If you are interviewing a trainer and you don’t get a feeling of “oomph” or energy from the person, you can bet he or she will be a dud as a trainer. An interview is a time for people to shine and put their best foot forward. If you’re looking for a data analyst, perhaps a low-key, low-energy personality is ideal. But if you want someone who can get your staff excited about learning new things, you need someone who can motivate and reward.
2. Tech-Savvy Know-How
Of course, this dynamic person must also possess the right knowledge. Otherwise, he’ll be super dynamic as he shares useless information. Law firm trainers need to be passionate about staying on top of software upgrades, new releases and trade journals that share insider tips. (And your firm should support this knowledge acquisition by providing professional development experiences and subscriptions.)
3. Teaching Experience
Training equals teaching. We’ve just “industrialized” the term for the corporate world. So, think about your favorite high school or college teacher. Likely, that person was not in his or her first year of teaching but had a few years under their belt to refine their craft. Similarly, an effective law firm trainer will have some sort of background in teaching or leading groups.
If your training program is woven into every aspect of your operation (as it should be), then your trainer needs to be someone who can work effectively as part of a team. Can he/she “play nice in the sandbox” with the human resources department? The IT department? The partners? Will he/she bring training solutions to your firm’s challenges? (On the flip side, are you leaving the door open to training solutions that might add efficiency to areas where your firm’s operations seem to be stuck?)
And, of course, a good law firm trainer needs to be patient. This person will likely get asked the same questions over and over and he/she needs to be able to respond to each fresh inquiry with grace and encouragement. No one will seek the trainer’s help if she gets a reputation as a snarky, judgmental and impatient person. (Your firm, however, needs to support her schedule so that she has time to respond to all the questions she gets!)
If you have any questions about how to recruit and retain a stellar law firm trainer, contact me today: (info@SavvyTraining.com or 303-800-5408). I have lots of ideas around this topic, as you might imagine!
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Savvy Training & Consulting works with leading companies and technologies to deliver the most up-to-date training solutions and curricula to law firms. Savvy recently unveiled an award-winning Learning Management System (LMS) for law firms, SavvyAcademyTM, which delivers scalable training capabilities, reportable data down to the individual user and 24/7 support, all for a fraction of the cost of traditional LMS services.