Why many trainers are like couriers

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Written by Paul Matthews on 22 August 2016

You do an absolutely brilliant job delivering your training course in the classroom. The happy sheets are… well – nice and happy!

The delegates thank you as they leave the room promising to do the tasks on the list they created in one of the activities. You have that warm glow that comes from knowing you helped people along their journey, and now you just want to get home and put your feet up because you are tired. Training is hard work!

Your mind moves on to the coming weekend, and you know that next week you have a couple more courses to run. New courses, new people, the wheel turns. You give little further thought to the people who were in your training room, except perhaps to remember the guy who played the clown, and that funny running joke that kept turning up during the two days.

The delegates are welcomed back to their desk on Monday, because they have been missed. The work has piled up a little while they were gone; a couple of teammates had to pull some extra hours to cover for them. The rhythm of the day job soon re-establishes, and the urgency of the daily activities trumps any attempt to think about the training course from last week.

Press PAUSE.

What just happened?

Unfortunately, something that happens far too frequently.

The trainer, like a courier, has delivered the package. Their job is done.

Previously, somebody had decided that the contents of the package were required, and made the purchase, and arranged for the courier, and the delivery destination. Maybe they even arranged a special custom build for the package contents. Their job is done.

Now, the package sits in the corner, waiting for the recipient to find the time, and the inclination, to do something with the contents. It is sitting alongside a number of other packages, some opened, some with the contents strewn over the floor as though someone had made some effort to figure out how to assemble and use what’s in there, but the effort looks abandoned.

Some bits and pieces have been taken away, and presumably used, but only a few. Several packages look remarkably similar, as though the same thing was purchased and then delivered on several occasions, and some of them look remarkably expensive.

Time passes. The packages gather dust.

The dust only gets disturbed when another package is delivered and put in the same corner.

Would you do that? Buy something expensive online and then when the courier delivered it, put it in the spare bedroom or the garage and never use it?

That would be plain stupid, and incredibly wasteful.

On several occasions in the movie "Forrest Gump", when people ask Gump "Are you stupid or something?" he always replies "Stupid is as stupid does."

If what you are doing is stupid, then…


About the author

Paul Matthews is the founder of People Alchemy and expert in workplace learning, 


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