Growing as a transformational trainer: How to make the shift from “I’ve got to do this” to “They’ve got to get this” with Zarat Boyd

In this podcast, Rick Duncan and Charles Campbell interview Zarat Y. Boyd, PhD.

Zarat Boyd and her husband, Damian, founded Vertical Church in 2011, a church plant on mission in an urban, collegiate, underserved community in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Boyd serves as President of Vertical City, Inc., a 501c3 organization empowering underserved communities. Zarat and Damian are proud parents of their gifted teenage son with complex medical needs. Since 2003, Zarat has served as President and Chief Learning Officer of MaxLife, Inc., a consulting practice dedicated to leaders and teams. Zarat has over 19 years of experience in developing and facilitating dynamic learning environments for children, youth and adult learners through customized sessions, workshops and certification programs. She has consulted with various North American Mission Board teams since 2015. Zarat has earned a Bachelors in International Relations, a Masters in Leadership, a Masters in Human and Organizational Systems and a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems with a dissertation focus on experiences in church planting.

Before listening to this podcast, please take the following self-assessment. Evaluate yourself as a transformational trainer on a scale of 1-10, 10 being high.

___ Because God has designed everyone to want to live out their unique purpose, I provide “individualized consideration” to each trainee whenever I train.

___ Others see that I “walk the talk” and that I can help them “walk the talk,” too; this is what causes them to emulate the way I train.

___ I find myself thinking not only about the content of my training, but also about the delivery of the content; I am compelled to grow as a trainer.

___ I take extensive notes whenever I train because I know I will later want to elevate the ideas that may have been overlooked or may need to be reinforced.

___ I have discovered effective skills to use in order to draw out quiet persons and to reign in talkative persons.

___ I make a point of observing expert trainers, so I can grow in my ability to facilitate transformation in the lives of my learners.

___ I am drawn to experiment with new techniques because I have made the shift from “I’ve got to do this” to “They’ve got to get this.”

___ Your score

Now listen to the podcast featuring Dr. Zarat Boyd. After listening, work through the following questions.

In the podcast, Zarat made the point that before we can become transformational trainers, we have to be transformational leaders. She pointed out four behaviors from Transformational Leadership Theory:

  1. Individualized Consideration
  2. Inspirational Motivation
  3. Intellectual Stimulation
  4. Idealized Influence

Which of these behaviors is a strength for you? Which one is a growth opportunity? What are some steps you can take to grow in this area?

Zarat mentioned the importance of the Disciplines of a Transformational Trainer. We spend time at our Train the Trainer Retreats helping you to develop your unique Five Traits of a Great Trainer, but not much time on the disciplines. They are…

  • Utilize Adult Learning Strategies
  • Leverage Positive Affirmation
  • Practice Active Listening
  • Manage Group Dynamics
  • Learn the Art of Question-asking
  • Develop Hand-lettering Skills
  • Capture Learning through Note Taking
  • Use Post-its Wisely
  • Manage Technology Well
  • Follow Suggested Time Frames
  • Abide in Christ through Prayerful Dependence

What do you like about this list of disciplines? What would you add to this list? Which of these disciplines needs to be more of a focus for you? How will you become more disciplined in that area?

Zarat made the point that the toolkit we have in our training—our four quadrants, 12 techniques, 10 brain rules and five follow-up question pathways—is rare. She said that if we are going to grow as trainers, then we need to observe people who do this kind of training well. How will make it a point to observe great trainers and great training? When will you start? Who can help you?

Take some time to reflect on the experience of listening to this interview with Zarat. Ask yourself, “What have I learned? What is one personal practice that I need to implement?” Write down your answers. Tell someone—a team member, a fellow trainer, or your Regional Send Network Trainer—about the changes you want to make. Ask them to pray with you and encourage you. Now, develop a strategy—next steps—to make those changes a reality.

You can email at [email protected]. Connect with her on LinkedIn: ZaratBoyd. Find out more at

Published October 31, 2018