Training – the Worst and the Best Experience

The most horrific professional training experience I took part in as an adult was a complete 5-day training held by a monument of incompetence in the position of a trainer and assessor.

The trainer didn’t even know the content of the slides and didn’t at least dissimulate this, counting on the participants’ understanding that he had been found as a last-minute replacement. He should have read the slides’ content before showing up for the course instead of reading them without knowing what exactly they referred to.

The trainer brought a bottle of wine the day before the final evaluation that he took out during the training session and served everybody, even though some people could not drink because they were going to drive. If he really wanted to, he should have taken out the bottle of wine on the last day, after the training. His gesture could have slightly been interpreted as bribery and complicity with the students.

The trainer did not give actual answers to the questions but avoided the topic. At the same time, he stated that he was an expert in the fields from which he was systematically afraid to give examples, abusing the non-formal authority of his role.

The trainer should have prepared a notebook with examples from his own experience in implementing the concepts taught in the training.


One of the best training sessions I have ever participated in (although not the best) was the emotional intelligence training session held by Roxana Diaconu, the CENTRAS Constanţa expert, in 2006.

The trainer excellently structured the day, succeeding in covering it during a timeframe that considered the lunch break and the desire of the people to go to the beach in a balanced manner. The content was well integrated into the available timeframe, and no time was lost. The trainer kept pace without hurrying, successfully interacted with the participants, and impacted their self-knowledge and development. However, I was sorry that the training only lasted for 3 days.

The trainer shared handouts with the students that were generously compiled and whose worth exceeded the value of the training itself by far. It was practically a super-concentrated e-book that included the content of the course, in which its structure could be found. She could have had the book prepared in a more design-friendly format and sold it over the internet as a PDF file, but she preferred to give it to us for free. Impressive effort.

The trainer did practical exercises that the students could later replicate and implement on other occasions.

The trainer captured a few brilliant moments. I think it would have made history for the center if it hadn’t been for the generally and contractually agreed upon confidentiality. In addition, it would have brought many clients if recorded and posted online.

The trainer offered his availability for consultancy after the completion of the program. Subsequently, with other training sessions, the availability has been extended over Skype.

Which were:

1. What is The most horrific professional development training experience in your life?

2. What is The most significant professional development training experience in your life?

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Thank you!

Happy training!

 Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2009-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Training-cea mai proastă și cea mai bună experiență“  published initially in Romanian at the 2nd of September 2011 on Discerne. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved. Initially written in 2009.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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