Every time I turn around there’s another Super Hero who has some fabulous new super power. The technology and special effects have become an art form, so much that you might almost believe their super powers really exist. I am a little envious of all these super powers and I started thinking if there were super powers I could have to apply to training, which ones they would be. Here are five I came up with:
Precognition is the ability to see in the future. If I knew exactly who was going to be in each training class, what their triggers are, how to best help them learn, how to motivate them and what to do to make them transfer what is done in training to their real world, that would be very useful. Depending on the group I am working with, I may know who will be in the room, but even when I have that information, my planning and preparation typically stop there. If I dug deeper into each trainee, either by considering what I already know or by asking their manager for insights before the training, I really could have the superpower of precognition!
2. Super Hearing
Super Hearing is the ability to hear sounds other people can’t necessarily hear in the same situation. I’ll admit that when participants are speaking I am not always 100% focused on what they are saying. Instead, I may be thinking about what I am going to say after they speak, how many comments we have time for, what the next part of the workshop is, how people will partner for role-plays, or even what’s for lunch. Unfortunately, this is just like representatives who lack good listening skills when calling on HCPs. If I pushed myself to stop my brain from being all over the place, stay focused on what the person is saying, and model good listening skills, super hearing would be a super power worth having!
3. Enhanced Reflexes
This is the ability to react faster than the normal person. Having the appropriate comment after someone in the room speaks, asking the ideal next question to engage the group, addressing a concern while still encouraging people to express themselves, all of these require thinking on your feet and fast reflexes. It’s human and normal to have a brain freeze once in a while, but the best way to avoid this is to practice, practice, practice! Expect the unexpected and get used to responding on the spot to anything any everything. The super power of enhanced reflexes would make it instinctual to respond the right way all the time.
4. Time Control
The ability to control time is the ability to stop the clock so you can have as much time to do something as you need. I can’t think of any training I’ve done or been to where things went exactly as scheduled. There is always something that changes the plan, such as a speaker or general session running over, content being added to the workshop but the allotted time wasn’t changed, the participants not seeing the materials before the workshop as expected, the participants having lots of questions or comments, just to name a few. If I had the super power of Time Control, to stop the clock so I had as much time as needed for any training section, that would be incredible! While I can’t actually have the super power to control time, I can adapt time, by preparing for the “worst” when getting ready for the training. Making contingency planning a regular part of training preparation will make it feel like I have the super power of time control.
5. Secret Identity
Many Super Heroes have a Secret Identity or an alter ego; Batman is Bruce Wayne, Superman is Clark Kent, and the Incredible Hulk is Bruce Banner. Because of their secret identities the Super Heroes may seem introverted, shy, and reserved in one setting, but when it is needed, they can be a strong leader who takes control. As a trainer, when you’re running a workshop you need to “turn it on,” be enthusiastic, positive, and confident…even if you don’t really feel that way. There are times when you may have doubts about the material, not agree with the marketing strategy, or not think the latest and greatest selling model is all that great, but you can’t let the participants see that. Like it or not, you have a job to do and that is to train the learners. This is when the super power of a Secret Identity (you could be Super Trainer, Tough Trainer, or Tenacious Trainer) is invaluable. Draw on the skills you have to be realistic while still being positive, this is a super power after all!
There are the five super powers that came to my mind. Which of these or the many other super powers out there would you like to have and apply to training? For training in super powers (adapted for the human level) contact CLD.