Instructional designers often find ourselves needing to build relationships—and quickly.
We instructional designers (IDs) rely on a variety of other people in the process of designing and developing training initiatives. We work diligently to address myriad aspects of training materials development, all while trying to stay true to sound adult learning principles.
Successful execution of training projects is built on partnership and collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs). Simply put, IDs need SMEs—we can't collect, distill, and verify the content for the training program all on our own. IDs cannot possibly know everything about every topic, which is why SMEs hold a critical role in any training project.
Conflict within ID-SME relationships can cause projects to derail quickly. Our personalities, work styles, likes, and dislikes all differ from each other. But regardless of our viewpoints and what we agree on, there is much we can do as IDs to manage those SME relationships, and even prevent conflict altogether.