This is often a topic I ponder upon, doing what I do for a living.
The culture of our industry is to buy in barista talent to do top end training. What amazes me is that we assume that being in the same room as someone like this means that there will always be some sort of skills osmosis and we will learn regardless. What we often do not think about is that teaching is a skill, and just because a barista pulls really excellent shots doesn’t mean they are a great communicator of knowledge.
I am aware that in writing this I open myself up to scrutiny, but I am also happy that I have worked very hard to get better and the process of transferring knowledge. However it is still an area that I will always have room for improvement and a desire to gain more skills in.
This is in no way a slight against the many barista champions who are out there training. In fact I think we have been very lucky to find such good baristas who are also good with people and with communication. This kind of segues into an interest of mine that I would like to develop further which is the psychology and mechanics of communication, especially that of teaching. Whilst every pupil is different I would love to know more about the most efficient ways to program people with information.
Of course, there is no substitution for them actually wanting to learn…..