The Evolution From Training People To Developing Them

evPeople have been training people for as long as people have existed. When we show our children how to wash, brush their teeth, etc., we are training them. Training is simply a process of sharing with someone else the steps to take to produce a specific result. Training is a rote memory process. It’s memorizing steps to produce results. Training is what we use to teach animals rudimentary activities. Fortunately as people, we can learn much more sophisticated processes and complicated activities for much greater results.

Throughout history we have created apprenticeships so one generation could teach the next generation how to perform tasks valued in our societies. Tasks and skill-sets that were the foundation of our existence, i.e., stone masons, engineers who created aqueducts, domed roofs, etc. Even in those times however, it took going beyond training to master a profession. Think of ancient project mangers who built the pyramids, Greek temples, or Roman Colosseum, these project mangers had to assimilate many advanced skill including communication and people skills to accomplish what they did. To master anything took learning to develop yourself to a point where you could take concepts and use them to overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities.


Whether you are developing yourself or someone you are mentoring it requires going beyond the capabilities of training leaving rote memory and steps behind and moving into cognitive skills such as conceptualizing, investigating, conjecture, testing, etc. Developing yourself or another requires a much deeper understanding and use of imagination and creativity.

The more imagination and creativity a person has, it usually means they can and will learn to use the concepts taught efficiently and quickly. Once an apprentice masters the fundamental concepts of a trade or profession, that’s when their mastery begins to set them apart from others in that profession and they become known and labeled as a master by their peers.

The keys to developing people to become masters are:

  • Mentoring people with a love of the profession and a desire for mastery
  • Choosing people with the imagination and creativity
  • Building trust and coach them so they discover the answers to application questions
  • Choose people who like challenges and overcoming them


Developing people has a level of mastery itself. Many people are not good trainers and do not coach or mentor well at all. To train and coach you must be able to put yourself in the learner’s position and provide them a sequential path through the information allowing them to become competent at each level before moving on to the next. You must be able to provide information in quantities that are potent for the individual being trained and mentored. Not everyone picks up things at the same pace. You must be able to make them feel the gain of knowledge and the power the new skills offer them for their own success.

Developing people can be one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can experience. It often builds lifelong relationships and deep friendships. Watching another acquire skills and then master them and knowing you were a catalyst for that journey of success is certainly one of the most fulfilling situations a person can be privileged to participate in.


Nasir Taimoori

Nasir Taimoori is a freelance journalist working for different digital publications. He writes on various social, national and international issues. He also has an interest in translation.

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