The Training Matrix

One of the skills of leadership is training and developing your team. Once you have recruited, You want to train the team to run the systems of your business.

There is an old adage:

Treat others how you would like to be treated.

I don’t necessarilly think this is true when it comes to training others.  This is because a person’s skills, attitude and life experiences might be different to yours.   Therefore you will need to take all of this into account when working out how best to train someone.  And as you will see, the way you train one person in a particular task, might be different to how you train a DIFFERENT person in the SAME task.

Consequently, there are three main things you should take into account when thinking about training your team.

  1. A (clear) description of the task
  2. The individual’s current skill level at the specific task
  3. Their attitude (or motivation) towards the specific task

Three aspects of doing a task:

FirsA skill of leadership is training and developing others. Here's a training matrix showing skills and attitude. t of all, it’s important to note that these checkboxes don’t relate to the person as a whole, it’s about their attitude and skill towards a particular task.

There are 4 combinations. Let’s look at each in turn. Of course this is simplified … life is not as simple as “has skill” or “no skill”, or “positive attitude” or not … there are ranges in between – but to start with, let’s keep it simple.

1.  No (current) skill, but a positive “can do” attitude


This is fairly straightforward skills training.  Give the information about the task in a way that’s understandable and set them doing the task. Remembering that sometimes skills can be harder to develop – and thus have an impact on attitude – so as a leader – watch out for changes in attitude!

Take a look at my blog why taking the first step is not the biggest hurdle.  Becase it provides insight on what can happen after your team member starts a new task and finds it harder than they expected.  Alternatively you might like to find out why it’s important to be a learner again.


2.  Have some skills, but a “negative” attitude.

Of course, all of these can depend on the particular situation, but here are a couple of thoughts …

  • You might just need to give a bit of a ‘pep talk’ to get someone re-invigorated around a task, perhaps reminding them why it’s so important.  Use left brain logic as well as appealing to their emotion.
  • Sometimes it might be useful to have a bit of a chat, to finding out more about what’s caused the “attitude” around the task.  Because,  perhaps they’ve done the task in the past and have had a bad experience, perhaps they’ve been shouted at by a supplier for chasing an invoice and that’s put them off doing it again.
  • There might be times when you just have to say:

“no-one likes this job, but it has to be done”

3.  No skill, “negative” attitude.

Often this is about getting someone excited about the task, whether it’s describing the benefits that it will give them, or the importance of the task to the company.

Certainly, it’s important to get them “excited” before attempting to train them in the skill. Otherwise you may find your “skills” training falling deaf ears – with an unmotivated team member unwilling to take on board any new information. “Whatever …”

4.  Skills and a “can do” attitude.


So you can walk away and let them get on with it.

And it’s also useful to remember to look out for a job well done, so that you can:

praise where praise is due

You don’t want that “can do” attitude to slip into a “I’m being taken for granted” attitude.

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