Over the years we have certified hundreds of people to train our programs to their company’s participants.  Many retailers have said after the T3 that in fact the certification was probably the most significant management development experience their “trainer candidates” have had.  About 70% of the people we certify to train our existing participant programs, RMM, RSL, RNS, or MSL, are not HR professionals who have to facilitate and train as a normal part of their job.  Yes, managers often run meetings or do some training but our programs require a new level of ‘facilitation’ that draws learning out from the group as well as putting it in.

The process is rigorous.  Typically four consecutive days, nightly preparation each night of at least an hour plus, individual feedback twice a day in both written and oral form.  Peer review as well as retail consultant positive and constructive advice and sometimes even video feedback are provided.  Once I had a seasoned RVP decide to skip his prep and just wing his train-back section.  I gave him a 2.4 rating on a scale of 1-5; 5 being outstanding.  He caught me at a break and said he’d never gotten such a low rating and thought he was much better than that.  I agreed and said that I was surprised he did such a mediocre job with the assignment.  I told him if he continued to ‘wing it’ he would continue to be mediocre which I didn’t believe he was.  The next day and every day left in that session he prepared and was extraordinary.  The group gave him “most improved” at the end of the session.  We don’t mince words or lower our standards during a trainer certification session.

If you needed to learn just the content of our programs you could probably do it in a day or day and a half.  So why four days?  If a trainer used our Trainer’s Guide and did what it said they’d have a good session, but not a great one.  Excellent facilitation comes from first internalizing the content and then letting it come out infused with your company’s culture, values, processes, business priorities, and vision.  The personal examples and connections between your business and the training skills and strategies is what makes it come alive.  That takes more than a day to learn how to do.

Do you train non-HR folks to train programs? How’s that working for you? Share a note or tweet us @mohrretail.  In retail, every day is a


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.