The Training Trap

By June 4, 2013November 29th, 2020No Comments

Do you always convert learning into action?

Have you ever been really excited by ideas in a training program or workshop only to forget them within a week?

Do you feel like spending money to develop your team is a waste, because nothing ever changes in the way they work?

You’re not alone.  And there’s a very good, scientific reason for this. We call it the Training Trap.

Most training programs appeal to the brain’s neocortex. That’s the outer layer of the brain, the part that allows us to learn new things: like following the steps of an instruction manual; understanding new words; or appreciating new concepts during a training session.

The problem with using this part of the brain is that it’s not automatic. Information that appeals to the Neocortex does not form our ingrained way of behaving. It’s easily forgotten.

That’s the training trap.

Studies tell us that we forget a lot of what we read (90%), hear (80%) and see (70%). So what can you do to turn it around?

Become an author, not just a reader.

For an idea, piece of information or a way of working to truly become part of us, it needs to become part of our Limbic System. This is the part of the brain that controls the formation of memories and is primarily responsible for our emotional life.

The chance of retaining information sky rockets once we move from passive reception to active participation.  We retain 70% – 90% of information when we discuss it, experience it and share it with others.

Good facilitators know this and their sessions are designed to enhance the learning experience by giving participants an opportunity to engage meaningfully with the content.

It’s our job to take participants from Knowing (Neocortex) to Doing and then to Being (Limbic System).

Of course the responsibility for getting the most out of training is yours too.

Creating opportunities for yourself to practise the skills, and discuss and share the ideas, will improve your retention rate enormously.

Try this…

After your next training session, choose 3 skills or concepts that you really liked.

For each of those plan 3 engagement activities – like practicing the skill, talking with a colleague about it or explaining it to someone at home.

Tell someone that you plan to take on that new habit or way of working – ask them to help hold you to account.

You’ll be amazed how much benefit you get from a small amount of planned, active engagement.