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I find it interesting (and not a little upsetting) that people can sometimes be taken in by the ‘big names’ in particular fields. I have found that, more often than not, the ‘big names’ are simply that – trading off their names rather than their actual capabilities.

Training events and taster sessions, it seems, draw some people because of the ‘name’. I guess it’s difficult to know the quality of these events until you experience them. But even then, looks can be deceptive!

In my humble opinion, knowledge is only a part of the picture. There is also the not insignificant matter of ‘how you know, what you know’. In the field of NLP, for example, there are many who ‘know’ (the processes & protocols, for example) but do not know ‘how’ they know it – and are therefore significantly impaired in terms of what and how they impart this ‘knowledge’ to others.

I have witnessed this many, many times – a trainer who teaches from a fixed position, with little regard for flexibility and little awareness of their own filters. Ironic, from a NLP perspective: as NLP presupposes that human happiness and efficacy arises from self-awareness, behavioural flexibility, authenticity and an openness to feedback!

The other components required for a successful training or taster event include the actual ability to train [not all who ‘know’ know how to teach] and the integrity and authenticity of the trainer(s).

So, how do you find an event that satisfies those criteria: a knowledge expert, a training expert and a decent human being (who cares about the integrity of what, how and to whom the training is intended.) First, look at the trainer’s credentials: do they have recognised qualifications and/or experience. Second, read testimonials from others. Third, get a sense of them from their social media posts. Fourth, engage directly with them: are they accessible and open to your questions – and plan your questions in advance. What is it, specifically, that you need to know before you attend? How well do you know your own convincer strategies and filters in this context?? Fifth, tune in to your ‘sixth sense’; what does your gut say? Once you’ve put all that together, you at least have a better chance of choosing wisely.

Be careful out there folks! Particularly in the field of personal development. Look beneath the surface of the name, the marketing slogans and the bravado.