Training is Simple … if you remember!

Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is very easy to underestimate the discipline of training.

Many regard training as a simple how-to demonstration or a clear sequence of step-by-step instruction.

If an individual is focused, if the information is explicit, if the show and tell is easy to follow, if the task is broken down into bite size pieces …  surely the result is minimal difficulty in developing new skill and acquiring retained knowledge?

Well … not so fast.

Training in practical terms is Behavior Development and/or Behavior Modification.

You may not know much about behavioral development but I bet you remember your mother saying something like … it takes 21 days to build a new habit … and presumably 21 days to eliminate a bad habits! (Why are bad habits are so easy to pick up and good ones so hard – never figured that one out!)

Behavior is defined as … the manner of conducting oneself; anything an organism does involving action; a response to stimulation or the environment; the way in which someone behaves… etc.

Training is simply teaching a new habit.

The problem is extensive research has demonstrated that to develop a habit, an automatic response to a specific stimulus, takes between 10 days to 224 days, with the average being 66 days!

Therefore, when training, no matter how simple a task, it will require multiple repetitions over multiple days, to develop a consistently applied behavior or an automatic habit. You know this from your own experience.

To add challenge – changing or modifying an existing habit is more difficult.

The objective is not to portray training as unnecessarily complex or complicated. It is important however, when designing effective training programs, to plan for and to integrate sufficient time for new skill repetition, for real world practice, for measurement and for accurate feedback. Then it is as simple as – A – B – C

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.  Sydney J. Harris

Kevin has been developing, implementing and managing world class training systems for more than 40 years. If you would like help – give him a call!

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