It’s one thing ‘know’ good practice but quite another to ‘do’ good practice. We see this all the time time training: People arrive on workshops complaining that they know all of this stuff already, yet most of them don’t SHOW that they know it in their everyday work.
Knowing and doing are not the same thing.
Understanding and DEMONSTRATING that understanding are not the same thing either.
As a professional training provider, we always actively encourage follow up to formal training. Some clients choose to do little, leaving it in the hands of the learner. Others choose a more structured and formal path. Apart from in very few cases, the latter approach always works better… What gets measured gets done.
We are all busy. We all have multiple demands on our time. There is a temptation to be satisfied with what we have learned and move on to the next thing. Even as a training professional, I am no different.
I’m currently receiving training on using the Strengthscope™ profiling too. I enjoyed the training session. I understood what was covered. I am motivated and keen to use what I have learned, but going from an internal focus (knowledge, feelings) to an external one (demonstration) is a huge huge step. Today I’m going to be assessed on how well I know and can use this tool in a development coaching session.
Naturally, I’ve spent the morning actively preparing for it.
During this preparation, I realised that I only actually ‘knew’ 80% of it, so immediately, I’ve been able to go back and review the bits I wasn’t so sure about, and write down questions for my trainer around the areas that I still don’t quite get despite revisiting it.
As I’m going to be ‘tested’ I also started to look for links, view the information in different ways, and put the main learning points into my own words. I’ve started to think how I could use this in reality.
As a result, my understanding is deeper than it was when I had just completed the training. To get to this level, I invested the same amount of time on personal reflection as I did in the initial knowledge gain. Knowing that I am going to have to demonstrate my understanding has made my understanding greater.
Of course, the assessment itself will be another great learning opportunity. It’s unlikely I will do it exactly as I plan. I will probably miss some areas/opportunities. That’s OK…it’s my first time, and its better to make mistakes in a training situation than in a live one. The feedback I will get following the assessment will provide yet another layer of information to further deepen my understanding. It will also boost my confidence in demonstrating my understanding. Without this ‘forced’ demonstration, I may never have the confidence to use the Strengthscope™ profile, and then my training in it would have been a waste of everyone’s time.
So to summarise…
- The TRAINING EVENT was about 35% of the development.
- My personal REFLECTION was about 35% of the development
- The APPLICATION and assessment will be about 30%
This fits with my experience of designing and running development programmes too: Where people are ‘forced’ to have a go (via the dreaded role play or simulation), or where they are going to be held accountable for putting their learning into practice, via structured follow-up work/sessions, the impact on performance/outcomes is always better.
It’s not rocket science.
It’s not necessarily fashionable either. There’s a lot of ‘debunking’ of learning theories going on at the moment. My experience has links to Kolb, the ‘learning pyramid’, the 70:20:10 rule, TWI and probably a host of others. I don’t care if it fits a model or not. I trust what works. All I know is that if we don’t APPLY what we learn, it’s like having a silver tea service that never leaves the cupboard. What’s the point?
So, although I’m slightly nervous about my assessment today, I know it will be good for me.
And if you want training that focusses as much on follow-up and application as it does on input on understanding, why not get in touch? email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07803165780.