For the trainer to feel comfortable there is a need for trust to develop inside the classroom as well as outside; trust that any scrutiny is non-judgemental and that feedback will be honest, balanced, for the benefit of the trainer and given directly (feedback given through a third party will ensure that any trust developed in the classroom is lost). But trust will only develop between colleagues inside the classroom by encouraging an atmosphere of mutual facilitation on the understanding that, in the initial stages of such co-operation, each is permitted by the other to develop a relationship with the students using their own style. Once trust is developed in the classroom, then feedback can be introduced. If feedback is introduced too early it will only serve to ‘cramp the style’ of that person, particularly where that person already has low self-esteem. The environment will be one of acquiescence and the value of, and development from, any subsequent feedback will be lost. Even a trainer with high self-esteem who ordinarily exudes confidence may be affected by ill-timed feedback.
It is clearly important that, where evaluation of colleagues is to take place, familiarisation of styles has already taken place in a relaxed, non-judgemental and trusting environment. For without familiarisation in a spirit of non-judgementalism, true style and natural capabilities will not surface due to an inherent, albeit natural, lack of trust.
Have you experienced this scenario and, if so, what other tips can you provide that can help manage it effectively?