Is a Good System Engineer a Good Trainer Also?

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trainerFirst of all, I’m an engineer. My job is to fiddle with stuff, technical stuff. It’s what we do, analyse needs, direct requirements, trying to come up with the best solutions for implementation. That requires a strong analytical mind to cope with a lot of concurrent, and often contradictory items.

But you are never thinking about the necessity to pass your know-how over, to explain your role, so often not well understood, or even questioned if really necessary.

To cut the long story short, I was assigned as System Engineering trainer within our company, not because I’m the best choice (or perhaps I was), but maybe because I was the only one performing this job, at least at that moment. And to be honest, a day of training tires me much more than two connected days of doing my job on projects.

So, what skills a trainer should master, and are those skills to be found in the arsenal of a system engineer? Let’s make a crosscheck and see, what are, besides a very solid knowledge of the subject, the common areas of the two roles:

Required Skills  

SYSTEM ENGINEER

TRAINER

strong analytical skills
charisma
good decision skills
work under pressure
strong people skills
good motivation and persuasive
self discipline
strong prioritization skills
strong communication skills
understands, knows how to search, find, obtain and use information
strong didactic skills
teaching techniques knowledge
fine observer of people
charismatic, can motivate and transmit the wish to learn, to know more
good listener
self confident
coaching
interaction
keep the communication open
keep students alert
presenting
teamwork
self-reflection
providing balanced feedback

 

So, does the great professional make a good teacher also?

 

References

Buskerud University College – Didactic Recommendations for Education in Systems Engineering, Gerrit Muller