5 Adult Learning Principles for Effective Training Techniques


If you’re new to training, you may be one of those thinking that adults can be trained with traditional techniques used in schools and colleges. It would be true if you were living 20 years in past, today things are quite different. Along with enhanced abilities and capabilities adults possess, technology has made a huge impact on their knowledge and thinking. Unlike past, when classroom setups and practical training used to dominate training industry, things have changed because of the influx of hi-tech equipment, better training facilities and result-oriented tools.

Moreover, researches have indicated that adults require far better techniques and more focused approach in order to understand new concepts and learn new traits. That’s because they have concrete thoughts and concepts which may be difficult to alter.

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As a trainer, you need to understand different patterns of learning, to make your training effective and profitable for your organization. Here are some major adult learning principles, along with important training techniques to help you create result-oriented training sessions.

Principle – 1: They Want To Tell The World What They’re Capable of

You can expect a wealth of knowledge backed with practical experience in adult training sessions. Adult learners are likely to share their stories with you and other trainees.


You should encourage them to share relevant information. It always helps improve the quality of training. The best way to engage them is to include activities in which they can use their knowledge and skills.

Principle – 2: They’re Self-Directed And Decision Makers

As adults are better decision makers, you can expect them to argue and disagree on some topics. They are self-directed individuals and prefer their instincts over external sources.


Minimize arguments and conflicts in training by introducing problem-solving activities. Put them under different situations related to their position as employees, and indicate where they make mistakes. If someone comes up with a better solution to a problem, accept and appreciate him.

Principle – 3: They Follow Different Learning Styles

They may disapprove the way you train them. So, be prepared to respect the way they’re comfortable with.


Don’t force them to learn your way. A flexible training is far better than one-dimensional training.

Principle – 4: They’re Willing to Participate

By preventing them to participate in training, you’re actually increasing the level of boredom. It means, you will not reach anywhere with all those manuals and training scripts.


Include presentations, role plays, quizzes and discussion sessions to assess how much they have learned.

Principle – 5: They Get Motivated By Meaningful Information

They can understand what’s relevant or irrelevant to their job. They might show reluctance or straight forward discontent if you try to engage them in seemingly irrelevant activity. On the other hand, they’re keen to take part in activities corresponding to their jobs.


Emphasize on content and clearly indicate the outcomes of activities that coincide with their original job.

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