How to Keep your Motivation High no Matter the Circumstances

Have you ever become ‘bored’ of delivering the same training over and over again? You see the session plan, slides or content and just don’t know if you can continue to ‘go through the motions’ anymore. Maybe you have been delivering workshops back-to-back and just haven’t been able to come up for air so you get to that dreaded place of ‘Trainer Burnout’. This is never a great place to be, but due to circumstances often outside of your control, it can happen.

It is highly likely that you started training because you wanted to make a difference in your industry. Yet due to the repetitive nature of the role the motivation to deliver high quality training has dissipated over time. This is not born out of a case of not caring anymore, but simply the familiarity and drop in enthusiasm; and maybe even a disenchantment towards the industry that one works in.

The challenge though, and inescapable truth, is that training determines the future of an industry and this has a ripple effect on learners’ futures in such a massive way. How a trainer ‘shows up’ will often determine how a learner ‘ends up’ thinking about their career. So as trainers, we must be very good at maintaining and regulating our motivational levels, not just for ourselves but also for our students. Here are 3 simple tips to help you say motivated – even when you want to hit that snooze button.

Tip 1: Stay Curious 

The first thing that can keep you objective, relatable, and able to navigate those testing times in a training room, is to walk in with a mind full of wonder and curiosity. Curiosity will keep you away from judgement and frustration. Those moments where students are being disruptive, or things are not going as you planned, are the times when curiosity will become your best tool. Instead of thinking – “why is that student always being so annoying?”, you could ask “I wonder what that student might believe or have experienced that might lead them to think and act that way?” Reframing your internal dialogue allows you to have a new perspective on the learner and their intent within any given situation. 

Another scenario is often having to use the same ol’ PowerPoint slide show. Instead, get curious and ask yourself, “I wonder how I could present these slides in an even more thought-provoking manner?” Again, this is another simple question you can ask yourself, but one that can have powerful results through creating a new perspective on an existing resource. 

Tip 2: Active Reflection 

This ties in very nicely with Tip 1. Active reflection reminds us that there is no such thing as the perfect trainer or training session. There are always areas for enhancement. Not improvement – but enhancement. You see ‘improvement’ often presupposes that something in inherently ‘bad’, whereas enhancement allows you to always be looking to enrich the experience for you and your learners. Two great active reflection questions to use are:

  • What went exceptionally well in the session or that I am really happy about?
  • If I ever did that session again, what would I do differently?

At the end of each session, answering these two questions alone can really keep you hungry and excited to train over the long term. 

Tip 3: Trainer’s Mission

The last tip is more of a personal one. One that you need to spend some time thinking about is you’re anything like me. A trainer’s mission can help you wake up with a purpose for your training and give you that edge. At SpecTraining we believe that all trainers enter into training because at some level they want to make a difference. Clarifying that difference and writing it down can become a really powerful tool to keep you at the top of your game. A trainer’s mission might be:

“My mission is to raise the standards of training and education throughout Australia so that all learners have the best experience possible.” 

Or let’s pick another area such as first aid, a trainer mission might sound like, 

“My mission is to make sure that all learners studying first aid have the skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to save a life if they ever need to.” 

You can make your mission as grand or as niche as you would like, however having the clarity of what your mission is, will mean that you are never just ‘delivering a session plan’ or ‘going through slides’ with an audience, you are fully aware that you are actively changing lives – and that is the greatest feeling of all.

So remember; if you want your learners to love your topic, you need to love it too. On those long days, hopefully the above tips will get you out of a slump if you ever fall into one. As Steve Jobs once said, “Stay humble, stay curious”. The piece I would like to suggest is, never forget the ripple effect that you can have as a trainer out there in the workplace. 

Marc Miles