Basic Instructor Training NavigationHuman Behavior!

Human behavior psychology is a very complex topic, no matter how you try to discuss it or even attempt an explanation of how and why we function the way we do! According to a few  well-known psychologists "Myers-Briggs" and "Keirsey" there are about sixteen distinct personality types, which defines our personality. And somewhere mixed into all of this information they can tell us if we are either  a extroverted or introverted type of person. You know the "Mouse" and "Lion" type's.

If you want to learn more about your own personality, here would be a good place to start looking. Note! Be sure to make your way back here and finish the rest of the review. We'll leave the lights on.

Now! That you're back, you can see why we're not going into any great length, accept to say, its well beyond the scope of what we are doing here today.

Nevertheless, after all the things we do and don't know about human behavior and our different personalities and anxieties. Ranking very high on our list of anxieties, we find things like, the fear of death and taxes and many more things we humans fear. And very high on the list of fears we humans have is the fear of "Speaking in public."

Its important to note that no two people will react the same to any given event that may be on there list of things they fear. So you may also have many of the same fears they do and didn't realize it! But a good number of us do have one thing in common, that is when we suddenly find ourselves thrust into the lime light, so to speak, facing a group of people with the task of presenting a report or a presentation of some type, will or I should say we typically will go immediately into and experience various of stages of stage fright or even experience an anxiety attack at the mere mention of public speaking.

This condition can range anywhere from just having a very mild case of the jitters and being a little nervous about speaking or it can effect a person up to a point where the person is rendered completely unable to speak a word or they may even pass out cold!

Why? Because it is considered a normal behavioral trait that we humans all have. We usually exhibit these types of symptoms, plus a few more, when we are suddenly taken outside of our own comfort zone. Once we're forced outside of our comfort box, we immediately begin looking for ways to return to the relative safety and comfort of our own little world. First we begin by "Visualizing" the worst and then verbalizing to ourselves, saying things like " Why me, No way, I would rather die first, than speak before a group of people." Or am just going to embarrass myself, because I do not have a clue where to start or what to say, these are just a few of the many excuses we will use to retreat with if possible back to our own little space we call our comfort zone, where we are in control again of our non-treating environment.

All of us at times have experienced these very same feeling and have made similar excuses in the hopes it would keep us from doing something we didn't want to do or we felt uncomfortable about doing. What we are really saying to ourselves is that we lack self-confidence in ourselves.

A reality check is in order here! Many may consider yourself as an expert in your chosen field, but the simple truth of the matter is just because you now have decided to become an instructor, lecturer, speaker or teacher in some form in your chosen field, that alone in themselves does not shield you or me from experiencing or showing signs of even the most basic human emotions, such as nervousness, stage fright or anxiety. In some cases experiencing these emotions are enough to make even the most experienced amongst us want to run away and hide. 

Those who are seeking to become a instructor/trainer should have a working knowledge of the Principles of Educational and Human Behavior Psychology.
However, this is not a mandatory requirement you must do before you can teach others. Nevertheless, taking on the role as a professional trainer and being familiar with the terms and principles of teaching others is, anyone considering entering the training world should have a good working knowledge of the principles used. The better you understand how we humans function when it comes to learning and how we learn and what motivate us to learn, the more successful you will be as an instructor/trainer. However, for now only the areas that deals directly with the learning process will be briefly discussed here today.

First things first, what is a definition of learning? We all know we begin the learning process the day we are born, and it continues until the day we die. What happens to a person when they are learning? What process does he or she go through? (I have to say at this point, we are still learning how we learn things, it's still an on going learning process.)  

We mainly learn new things because of our individual experiences, which may change our way of thinking, feeling, doing, or seeing the world around us. So basically, it would be safe to say learning is a change in behavior as the result of an experience. This change or learning, can be openly observed or it can be in the mind as a feeling, which is hard to see at times.

The characteristics of learning, learning concepts and generalizations, the laws of learning, factors that affect learning, and the transfer of learning are the many things that we need to understand as trainers. The more we do understand the learning process it only increases our chances of creating an effective learning environment and becoming a successful trainer. 

Let's work our way through some of these learning processes by starting with:


Most people have a very definite ideals of what they want to do and achieve. A student brings his or her goals into the classroom. Some of these goals may be very personal and some they will share with you and their classmates. A student will learn best what will help them meet his or her goals. The learner's goal or purpose is of chief importance in the act of learning. A good instructor tries to relate learning material to the student's goal.

Learning comes through experience. Learning is a very individual process and must be done by the student themselves  . . . the instructor cannot do this for them. Research has concluded that learning and knowledge is a part of a person. A person knowledge is gained from his or her experiences, and no two people react to the experience the same way. Each learns different things depending on how the situation affects their different needs. Previous experience conditions a person to respond to some things and to ignore others. Some experiences involve the individual as a whole, while others involve only their eyes, ears, and memory.

There are a number of factors in combination that affect the way in which an individual learns new information. 

Major factors contributing to your learning style include:

  • Sensory Modalities: Auditory, Visually, and Kinesthetic
  • Reasoning Types: deductive, inductive
  • Learning Environment: interpersonal (working with others), interpersonal (working alone)

Sensory Modalities:

The Senses:


Prefer verbal instructions to written ones.
Is comfortable using spoken reinforcement mentally as well as aloud?


Does well with reading comprehension?
Prefers maps to verbal directions.


Touching - hands-on
Writing things down clarifies thoughts.
Likes to draw pictures.
Enjoys working with hands-likes lab classes.

Reasoning Type:

Deductive reasoning:

Studies premise first, then draw conclusions.
Sees big picture first, then looks for details.

Inductive reasoning:

Likes to see examples first when learning new information before developing an overview.
Prefers to learn game rules as it is played, not beforehand.

Learning Environment:

Interpersonal: working alone.
Likes to solve problems by oneself.
Does not like to work or study in groups?

Interpersonal: working with others.
Prefers discussion with family and friends before decision is made.
Likes to do assignments and study with others.

Do know how do you take in your information? To determine which methods you prefer, turn to "Appendix A" in the back of your training manual and take a few minutes to complete a learning inventory sheet. The information from the learning inventory is a brief inventory to assist you in determining your own style of learning. Use the information from this user friendly inventory to discover your own learning strengths which will help you maximize information gathering. 

When everyone is finished let's all take a ten minute break!

Now your chance to take a break also. Back to the top or you may continue on, it's your choice!

Now, that you have an indication of your own style of learning,   you can see that as an trainer you must provide to your students with experiences that are meaningful, varied and appropriate to the situation. It's not as easy as it sounds, but every effort on your part to provide an learning environment where the student can use their individual learning styles pay's off big both for your students and you.   However, it requires you to work at it, you need to be creative, innovative, and challenging to your students. 

For instance, by repetitious drill, a student can learn a long laundry list of principles, for example leadership. But the list is useless if one can't apply them correctly in real life situations. A person can do this if their learning experience has been both extensive and meaningful and they understand how to apply the principles. The learning experience which challenges the student requires involvement with feelings, thoughts, memory of past experiences, and physical activity is much better than just requiring the student to memorize a long list of things

Learning is a multifaceted process too. An instructor or teacher who thinks his or her job is only to train a student's body or memory is wasting their own and as well as the students time. Students may learn much more than the instructor planned or intended, because, as humans, they do not leave their thinking mind or feelings at home. As an example, a student studying Aircraft Maintenance may be learning to perform a check on a particular piece of equipment. However, in the process, they are learning new concepts and generalizations. The student may also be learning new uses for the principles of electronics. And may become more interested in black boxes and learn something about handling electronic equipment in general.

This experience results in changes in the students way of seeing, thinking, feeling, reacting and doing, even though the instructor's primary objective was to teach the student how to read a multi meter. Students in a classroom may also be learning cooperation, elements of good dynamics, and good and bad attitudes about life in general. The list is endless and is sometimes referred to as incidental, but it still has a great impact on the learning situation.

Learning is an active process. Never assume anything just because it is obvious to you. All too often, after an instructor has taught a lesson many times in the past, he or she will teach the subject strictly out of habit. Instead of watching their students, he or she becomes a robot, who walks into the classroom and begins talking. As if they had   just push there on button, and the words begin to flow non-stop, but their minds are elsewhere. 

How can this be avoided? Keep everyone active in the class, the students as well as the instructor. The more active a student is involved in the class, the greater their chances are for both learning and remembering. (If a student is to learn, they must react and respond. They are not a sponge that will soak up knowledge like water. The response may be outward or inward.) Since learning is a change in behavior as a result of experience, the interaction between students and instructor  must be active. This action can be either answering the instructor questions, or working a practice exercise. The responsibility of creating active student participation lies with the instructor.

We have cover a lot up to now, for those who are reading this we have just scratched the surface a little. During the basic instructor course we cover the rest of this topic and the ones listed below.




Next we are heading to objectives go there now or back to the top! It's your choice!


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