3 Things You Know About Learning That Your SME Doesn’t

This blog article was originally posted to ATD’s website and is based on the new book Effective SMEs, co-authored by Turpin Communication’s leaders, Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger.

An excerpt:

3 Things You Know About Learning That Your SME Doesn’tBringing subject matter experts (SMEs) into the training process is often necessary and important. Their knowledge and perspective during the design phase help talent development (TD) professionals determine what learners need to learn and what they need to be able to do after training.

When your SME is also the person delivering training, new challenges arise. SMEs are not learning experts, after all, they are subject matter experts. This can lead to ineffectiveness and inefficiency in the training room. Therefore, they need to be coached on delivery and facilitation skills that we, as TD professionals, already employ. Finding the best way to coach your SMEs, though, is daunting because each of them has different experience, strengths, and needs.

Before you dive into delivering feedback to your SMEs, make sure they understand the fundamentals of the learning process itself. Here are three things that trainers know, but SMEs may not.

  • SMEs must embrace the learning conversation
  • SMEs must understand their responsibilities to learners
  • SMEs must trust learners

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