After more than 5 years apart, my ex-colleagues and very firm friends, flew in from Australia, Japan and Hong Kong to meet me in London. We enjoyed each other’s company; reminiscing about both the good… More
As managers, we believe we are doing the right thing by sending our employees on leadership and management training.
Would it therefore surprise you to read, that only 5 to 10% of learning is retained and can be applied after traditional methods of training?
Research on the forgetting curve, shows that within 1 hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50% of the information presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70% of new information, and within a week, an average of 90% of information will have been long forgotten.
“Whole-day training can be a catastrophe. Our cognitive load is exceeded,” says Itiel Dror, a neuroscientist specialising in learning. His message to L&D practitioners is unequivocal: “Don’t do whole-day learning.” Dror’s view is supported by research by Paul King of the Christian University of Texas, which suggests that not only is traditional whole-day learning ineffective, but it can even be counter-productive. Once the brain’s capacity has been exceeded, learners can’t absorb any more information and they then begin to dump the most recent things that they have learned (HR Magazine, 2016).
Whilst many leaders will agree that one-day courses are ineffective, ‘they find them invaluable for networking, knowledge-sharing and disseminating a strong sense of company culture’ (HR Magazine, 2016).
So, as a manager or a learning and development leader, how do you ensure that you don’t throw away 90% of your training budget, but guarantee that your employees can network, collaborate and learn from others?
Would it interest you to hear how you could reduce this financial drain to below 30%?
While doing research for my dissertation on ‘changing behaviour in three months’, I stumbled on some fascinating facts, which have since been proven and developed further over the last year.
We are so focused on teaching our employees new skills, that we have forgotten to tackle the behaviours and limiting beliefs which are standing in an individuals’ way of successfully applying what they have learned.
Before change and new behaviours can be adopted, the previous behaviour needs to be unlearned or discarded (Lewin, 1946) yet, most organisations are focused on the ‘learning process and do not encourage unlearning structures’ (Argyris).
The AURA approach is based on Kolb’s ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’ (1984) which helps learners ‘learn how to learn, by consciously following a recursive cycle of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting’ and increases their learning power.
AURA starts with an Assessment (psychometric and 360-feedback) and takes individuals through a process of Unlearning (reflecting & thinking), Relearning (experiencing) and Application (acting); to help them act with purpose.
When leadership and management training is broken up into bite-size chunks, it is retained with ease, but there’s still the bonus of meeting others and sharing ideas. The difference of this approach is that it’s combined with one to one coaching and that’s where the bonus lies. Between the bite-size modules, coaches hold individuals accountable for applying what is learned, ensuring that individuals unlearn old habits, have the confidence to apply what they have learned and ultimately change their behaviour sustainably.
Who wouldn’t want a better return on investment for their training budget? To learn more about unlearning, contact me.
I moved to a new house but, I continued to walk home to my old one?
One may quickly question the sanity of this individual as it goes without saying that ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’, Henry Ford.
But, ‘how do you facilitate change in your organisation?’
When processes, product lines, strategies, company beliefs and values are changed, are the impact that these changes have on the workforce even considered? Will employees be required to work differently and how will this be supported?
Change has become a constant and managing it has become an expanding discipline. Yet, research states that ‘70% of change projects fail due to resistance to change’, Beer & Nohria.
How leaders facilitate behavioural change determines how employees embrace change, as well as the outcome for their organisation.
It’s natural for individuals to resist change. Oftentimes they don’t believe in their own ability to change; with doubts arising like ‘am I able to do this new job?; ‘will I shine in this new world, as I did before?’; and it seems easier to retain the status quo, than to rally behind transformational change.
My latest research focuses on changing behaviour in 3 months, with a success rate of over 70%, which balances the odds of your change programme failing.
By training and coaching individuals through change, it feels far less uncomfortable.
Are you letting your employees take the long route home? Or, are you ensuring that new behaviours clear the path to success?
Whether it’s starting a business, meeting the person of your dreams or accelerating your career, you first need to believe that this is possible.
I have heard people blame social media, magazines, their partners, parents or bosses for their lack of confidence, however there’s no one more to blame, than ourselves.
The Collins dictionary defines self-doubt as “a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities”. When we lack confidence, we are in fact just listening to our own negative, internal dialogue that we are incapable of doing what we have planned to do.
A simple technique to help you regain confidence in your abilities, is to:
- Think about a time, when you managed a situation extremely well.
- Describe, how you felt in this situation?
- Did you stand differently?
- Did you breathe differently?
- And, try to remember your frame of mind at the time.
Recalling this information as vividly as you can, can serve to remind you how it feels to be successful at any time, and ensure that you have positive, mental tools to visualise a repeat performance at any point in the future.
Remember that ‘when there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm’ (African proverb).
If you would like to improve your confidence, please contact me.
This picture reminded me that our negative internal dialogue often paralyses us so much, that we fear taking even the first step in any new venture.
Research I completed last year, highlights that many individuals procrastinate because they fear that their work will not be good enough.
I often need to remind my clients that improvement and change happens in stages and with practice. Like training for a marathon, we run a little every day until we are fit enough to run the marathon. We just need to put on our running shoes, and go for that first short jog.
Take the first step. I dare you!
For more information about our transformative programmes, please send me an email.
How often have you heard someone refer to their past experiences, as ‘baggage’, e.g. an ex-spouse, partner, redundancy, debt, etc?
We can’t change the past, but we can change the way we deal with similar situations in future.
Becoming self-aware helps us to understand and break through our beliefs about past experiences, helping us to learn and grow.
Asking ourselves questions like ‘What happened?’ and ‘How could I have done things differently?’ is a simple way to start an internal dialogue.
I like to think of my past in a positive light. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, if it weren’t for all of my experiences; the good, the bad and the ugly. I have chosen to forgive and forget those things that do me a disservice and I use all of the experiences that serve me well.
What can you learn from your past?
Have you ever done something really awful and asked yourself ‘Why?’
Have you ever been asked ‘Why did you do that?’ and felt attacked by the question, making it difficult for you to answer?
I was part of the ‘why tribe’. Awake at 3am, asking myself, why I’d messed up in a meeting? Why I had, or hadn’t said something? Beating myself up and getting nowhere with answering the question, other than further down a rabbit hole…which at 3am, is a very dark space.
Asking yourself ‘why’, can force you on an emotional rollercoaster, as you can come up with a million subjective answers.
Asking someone else ‘why’, can feel like a personal attack or criticism; putting them on the defensive.
So how can we do things differently?
Slow your brain, take a mental step back and ask ‘What’ happened?
Keep to the facts! We learn best when we feel safe.
Think about who said, or did ‘what’. ‘What’ was said; who was there, etc?
Once you’ve gathered the facts, ask, ‘How’ you could have done things differently? Not better, because this too is subjective. Better in whose eyes.
Once we have answered ‘What and How’, we may even be capable of answering, ‘Why’.
New behaviours, which lead to a positive result, are learned quickly by the brain, so the next time you are in a similar situation, you will know what you should do differently to achieve a different result.
Helen Martin has an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural change and focuses on developing self-awareness and reflection with her clients.
An article about the advantages of developing an intergenerational workplace, prompted me to share this personal story.
My aunt was a prominent figure in the Insurance sector and had a traditional, yet successful career. Nearing retirement, (at 59 years old) she was approached by a forward-thinking, new firm in the market, offering her ‘many times her annual salary’, (in permanent employment) to grow their business and to share her knowledge and coach the younger generation in their firm.
Ten years later, the same insurance company became an active shareholder in my aunt’s first commercial venture, whereby they still received ongoing advice from her (as a consultant) and she had the financial backing she needed to take a step, she had never thought possible.
According to Birkman’s paper, ‘How Generational Differences Impact Organizations & Teams’, Baby Boomers tend to be optimistic, ambitious, competitive, and focus on their personal accomplishments. However, nobody’s perfect and the paper deals with the many issues that organisations can experience with inter generational teams. ‘The good news is that common ground exists among members of different generations. Differences exist on all teams regardless of generation and can be successfully addressed through training, and coaching. Other differences, such as work and communication styles, are an outcome of changes in the workforce that can be addressed in a variety of ways.’
Whilst knowledge may be perceived to some as power, sharing that knowledge is worth its weight in gold. It’s how organisations use the knowledge of individuals in their ‘golden years’, re-training these individuals to advise, mentor, coach and train, that makes these organisations more successful than those that choose to make these ‘senior citizens’ redundant.
Companies who want advice may also wish to read:
- How Generational Differences Impact Organizations & Teams,
- 5 rules for managing intergenerational teams
- 7 ways for Millennials to work effectively across generations
Helen Martin is a leadership coach and can be contacted for more information.