Watch David's story
Key skills required:
- a passion for helping people develop
- being great at project management
- strong communicator - enjoys presenting
- improving work and behavioural skills
- motivating employees
- delivering training programmes
How did you start out in L&D and what does your role involve?
I kind of organically grew into the role of learning and development. I learnt along the way and I found out what worked. I think that’s a really nice way to get into a role because it’s constantly positive, you’re constantly learning.
Training is about the technical stuff but learning and development is about how to get the most out of people in the roles that they’re doing and that is no different no matter what industry or sector you’re in. My role is really about helping the success of the business by supporting all the different departments and people within it. As learning and development manager my job is not really about providing solutions or telling people the answers, my job is to help people find a way to get to those answers.
What are the keys skills you need in L&D?
One of the key skills I think you need going into learning and development is tenacity. You need to have a thick skin – it’s very challenging! You have to be extremely positive as well, always looking at the positive side of things and being able to spin any kind of challenges you get in a training situation into a positive, and to get people to think about what they’re saying. My passion is getting people to think differently and approach their roles differently and it’s something I’ve learnt over time and evolved into.
What do you like best about working in L&D?
I think the best thing about learning and development is actually delivering training. I think when you deliver training you get a buzz. What you do applies in all industries you might work. I’ve worked in branded restaurants, I’ve worked in charities, I’ve worked in recruitment, and people think and react in the same way no matter what industry or sector they’re in.