In my last message, I mentioned two authorities that raised questions about the value of practice. They cited examples from athletics and formal education. I have some very different thoughts and consider this in conflict with what we know about what it takes to learn and apply the essential skills required in the workplace.
Maybe you got the same update I did on the concept of practice; it is “perfect” practice that makes perfect.” Also, I believe we need to consider the type of learning involved— acquiring athletic skill is a very different process than learning workplace skills.
Here are two biases I want you to know about:
In all cases, learning can be accelerated with coaching. Do you know any champions that did not have a coach? In the workplace, anyone who cares about another person can play a role in that person’s learning and development by being what I call a support coach. Further, I believe the manager must be the coach of all the workers or team members in his/her unit. In essence, to become a coach-based manager.
As talent management and learning professionals, we must answer the question, “How is teaching different from learning?” For example, all hospitals are considered “teaching hospitals” that see themselves as keepers and teachers of valuable secrets about health to their “clients.” Would the organization be better served to learn instead of teach? Could this be the means to minimize reacting to problems, and optimize prevention and discovery?
I have coined the term, Cycle of Master, which I write about in my book, Turning Good People Into Top Talent. Each cycle (of learning and development) has five phases beginning with Awareness and finishing with Accountability. My premise is there can be no learning and development without those two points, and mastery requires a continuous process. More about the cycle of mastery in my next message.
Please comment and let me know what is on your mind.