This week I’m back out delivering training and the first course covered financial management. Representatives from Finance deliver part of the course. One of the challenges of using subject matter experts (SMEs) always seems to be helping them to see that terminology and processes that are ‘natural’ to them are often like a foreign language to the learners. For some reason, once we’re an expert in something, we seem to lose our ability to put ourselves back in the novice position. I suspect this could apply to all sorts of situations, including parents relating to their children (‘Can’t you see that’s a stupid thing to do??’).
Although I am not a financial expert, I have found that by learning about terminology and asking ‘silly’ questions about how and why, that I can then translate this into simpler language for delegates. However, that doesn’t mean that SMEs are not valuable. They can often provide a specific answer to delegates’ questions which I don’t have the depth of knowledge to provide. Therefore, I think having a facilitator alongside an SME can be very effective.
All professions and industries have their jargon. I wonder if as trainers we have a role to encourage plain english where we can.
For ideas on using plain english look at http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/free_guides.html
You can contact me via:
Email: alison @ growinginsights.co.uk
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