How do we “show up” as youth trainers? Halogen Foundation’s Special Projects Executive, Daniel Tay kickstarted his Personal Development Workshop with this reflective question for our interns. As some began to anticipate a cookie-cutter trainer persona to be delineated by Daniel, the latter seized the opportunity to highlight how every individual’s personality and philosophy form his or her unique blend of charm as a trainer.

Through interactive platforms such as Mural, Daniel also led our interns to explore four archetypal trainer personas that they may resonate with. These archetypes include the professor, storyteller, facilitator, and practitioner. Our interns were invited to imagine situations where these archetypes best flourish in or tumble into potential pitfalls. A storyteller persona, for instance, can be worn by the trainer when his crowd begins to lose focus and interest in his training content. A captivating anecdote, as Daniel posits, becomes a clever way to re-engage one’s audience. As a trainer “show up” with a repertoire of stories, he plants ideas, thoughts, and emotions into his listeners’ brains more effectively than a dull powerpoint presentation.

Passionate in his sharing, Daniel also called to attention that different personas aid trainers to create interactive, constructive, active, and participative (ICAP) learning opportunities for their trainees. Beyond “showing up” to class with gusto, trainers can create moments of interactive learning by inviting trainees to share their perspectives, construct new knowledge and collaborate with others. These moments nudge the latter to move from passive to active learning.

Creating ICAP learning moments ultimately requires trainers to learn, unlearn and relearn things about their training philosophy and about their personalities to better engage and educate their trainees with bold pedagogies. Daniel’s workshop thus drives home the message that being an effective youth trainer is a lifelong endeavour.