Identifying Your Personal Training Style

In the June/July issue of School Nutrition the article “School Nutrition: Generation Next,” as written by K-12 school nutrition consultant, Sharon Schaefer, SNS, seeks to offer assistance and encouragement in investing the time to developing a managerial bench for the future success of your school nutrition program. Part of developing that bench, Schaefer asserts (and SN duly supports!) is putting together a knock-out management trainee program. But before you begin the rigorous process of shaping the future careers of others, you should figure out what your personal approach to that process will be. What is your preferred training style? Read this additional article from Schaefer below to find out. 

Developing staff members from all different backgrounds and skill sets can seem daunting. Take a deep breath; you have so much expertise to offer trainees and any topics you need help with can easily be found. Here are some top sites to explore and share:

Each manager-in-training is full of potential and, with some guidance in specific areas, they will soon be prepared to step into a manager’s shoes. Training styles are an extension of your personality and certainly not a “one size fits all”. Which one is right for you?

The Coach

Who’s guiding the trainee? Don’t enlist the physical education teacher or the basketball coach! A coach guides you by asking questions and letting the trainee explore the answers. Coaches boost morale, explore skills and motivate. It’s a style of training that focuses more on the partnership of the coach and the trainee sharing equal responsibility for progress.

  • A process used to encourage employees to accept responsibility for their own performance, to enable them to achieve and sustain superior performance, and treat them as partners in working toward organizational goals and effectiveness. (Source: Jon M. Werner and Randy L. DeSimone, “Human Resource Development, 5th Edition:
  • An intensive one-on-one professional relationship that is structured toward accelerating the development and effectiveness of high potentials in the agency. Coaching is targeted at key roles within an organization in support of mission success. (Source: NASA Coaching Philosophy)

A coach says, “Skills can be developed.”

The Teacher

The teacher is a sharer of knowledge. Teachers lead learning with a predetermined and sensible path. Organization and valuable resources are put together by the teacher. Questions are asked and answers are given. It is a guided approach that leads to the trainee’s comprehension of new topics and ability to demonstrate understanding.

A teacher says, “Skills can be taught.”

The Mentor

A mentor/mentee relationship is very specific. Traditionally, there is a specific, very experienced role model acting as the mentor and a younger, less-experienced trainee. The trainee can resemble the mentor with similar, early career experiences and, often, personality traits too. The mentor helps to guide the mentee with advice and demonstration of their own ability and the mentee, in turn, can mold their skills after their role model. There is normally an opportunity to follow a very similar career path as the mentor did. This is a great way to train and mold a candidate that has the potential to be not only a manager, but perhaps a future director.

A mentor says, “Skills can be learned from working with an expert.”

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