Sunday, August 14, 2011

Practice is the key

Over the course of our life - day in and day out - we gather/learn lot through our 5 senses. Out of that, what sticks in our minds? And why is that? Undoubtedly bad memories last for a long long time - and so do good. And both of these can be triggered by certain "triggers" - in the absence of a better word. But in the context of this post, I dont mean just memories - I mean, things we learn. But as you will see, memory is an important part of the learning process.

Click here to see the types of memory.

A typical example of how we learn something is best explained using the bicycling paradigm. The four stages of competence. We start from "unconscious incompetence" - I dont know I know. Then we move to "conscious incompetence" - I know I dont know. Then "conscious competence" - where we need to put in effort to learn. And finally, the rewarding stage - "unconscious competence" where the learning is internalized.

Each of the memory types listed can be "trained" in the learning process - as depicted in the Atkinson Shiffrin model.

But leave that aside for the moment - can we learn anything or memorize learning without practice? In my view, that is just not possible. Anything that you learn needs practice and sustained practice. And while we do practice, it is also about the right technique. Take anything - Swimming, Driving, Kayaking, Music, Dance - expertise in any art or subject is all about the technique and practice that ultimately results in it becoming a "unconscious competence".

If practice is the key, how to use it in behavioural training delivery?

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