Field Trainers: Helping Your Field Friends
FROM THE PRESIDENT – Richard Sampson
The field trainer straddles the two distinct worlds of training and sales
Welcome, LTEN colleagues, to this year’s Field Trainer issue of LTEN Focus on Training magazine. This is the first of several special publications we have planned this year, and it’s my pleasure to be able to connect with you.
This is a special issue in more ways than just topic. Most of our issues aim to connect with all training professionals, and they feature a variety of topics designed to appeal to a variety of professionals (a phrase that describes LTEN nicely).
Join the Field Trainer Committee
If you’re interested in learning more about the Field Trainer Committee – or are ready to get involved – we’d love to hear from you.
Reach out to Miki White, LTEN membership director, at mwhite@L-TEN.org. She’ll help you get started with the Field Trainer Committee or any of our volunteer opportunities.
But with this issue, we narrow our focus a bit to spotlight the field trainer, in recognition of the importance of that function, and the realities of it. If you’re not a field trainer, please keep reading – you’ll learn about that role and those professionals, and you’ll see how that field trainer piece of the puzzle fits right in.
Perhaps more than any other life sciences training professional, the field trainer straddles the two distinct worlds of training and sales. Many training folks in headquarters positions used to carry the bag, but that’s not their primary role now. Our trainer friends in the field often still do, while also trying to keep the skills of their colleagues sharp and ready.
So, a special role with a special importance calls for a special issue, and here we are. Flip the pages and you’ll find some articles meant for you (but helpful to everyone!), including:
- Career advice from fellow field trainers.
- Delivering coaching in the field.
- Finding (and supporting) field trainers.
- Empowering field trainers to drive results.
- Understanding field trainers (including yourself).
- Giving field trainers their best shot at success.
But wait – before you go, let’s talk about one more thing that’s important to field trainers getting involved.
As mentioned, you have a special position, and part of what makes it special is where you do your work. These past couple of years, the industry shifted to meeting you where you’ve always lived, in the work-from-home or my-office-is-mycar place. But that’s already shifting back in many places, while you stay there, often working without the ready resource of one another that your friends in the cube farms have.
That’s where getting involved with LTEN can help. Sure, you’ll still be an office of one, but you’ll increase your network, you’ll learn from others like you and you’ll gain experience that can only help you professionally.
There are many ways to get involved, from the more passive tools (read an article like this, attend a webinar) to the more active (attend a workshop, mixer or the annual conference, write an article or deliver a webinar). But with your special role and special situations in mind, I have a special solution.
Have you thought about joining the LTEN Field Trainers Committee? You could help shape how LTEN supports professionals like you.
The Field Trainers Committee is one of the most active committees in LTEN (it’s not a race, it’s just a busy group) and there’s always more seats at that table. Committee members meet monthly, and from those meetings have come several great things:
- This annual issue of Focus, now in its sixth year of publication.
- The field trainer scholarship program, providing annual scholarships to field personnel to attend LTEN training programs or events.
- A series of webinars around the field trainer position.
- A track of workshops at the annual conference.
- A bundled track of microlearning programs in the LTEN eLearning Lounge.
- At least three LTEN Members of the Year have been on the Field Trainers Committee.
Obviously, you know best what time you have to volunteer, but I would urge you to keep the option open as your schedule allows. Your involvement as a committee member is always dependent on your availability, and no one expects 100% commitment. But you’ll be surprised how engaging the projects can be and how it feels helping raise the bar on your own profession.
LTEN works best when everyone contributes as they can, and this proverbial choir is ready to hear your voice.
Meet the Committee
The LTEN Field Trainer Committee is an active, involved group. Our thanks to everyone for the time, participation and dedication to helping all LTEN members.
- Amity Cutaia, Astellas
- Rosa Hanks, Coopersurgical
- Thomas Hood, Bayer
- Melissa Lowe, Philips
- Steve Nordquist, Alnylam
- Chris Platanos, Alnylam
- Alison Quinn, Kite Pharma (chair)
- Erica Sambraus, Novartis
- Kendra Short, Sanofi
- Michael Tomlinson, Eisai
- Joe Wilmoth, Arcutis
Richard Sampson is president of the LTEN Board of Directors and vice president, global training & development, global business operations for Cepheid. Email Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.