Training and Learning.
These two concepts are closely related and often used interchangeably, but they are really two different things. Some organizations miss the mark in their internal development efforts by not understanding or appreciating the difference.
Let me ask you a simple question: Do you learn to play guitar or are you trained to play guitar? These two ideas have a very different feel to them, don’t they?
When you ‘learn’ guitar, it sounds voluntary—a choice was involved. It’s something that will become part of you, something that will grow you as a person. You might even enjoy it (at least once you get over feeling silly for learning to play guitar at your age). You’re engaged in the activity.
When you are ‘trained’ to play guitar, it sounds much more compulsory—as if you had little or no choice in the matter. It also sounds like a means to an end. You are training on the guitar for a particular reason which may or may not mean anything to you personally.
One tends to be far less engaged when the reason for doing something is not made clear and it feels like something you have to do.
Learning + Practice = Excellence.
The way for that learning to stick is through practice.
Often companies send employees to a conference or seminar to learn something new. However, without the opportunity to put new ideas and behaviors into practice, the new things they learned simply fade away.
Practice strengthens the new neural pathways in our brains so we make long-term changes.
Practice engages the mind.
Practicing new behaviors with horses is especially beneficial because of their complete honesty in responding. You’ll know if you “got it right” if the horse “got it right.”
After all, practice doesn’t make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
People tend to give one another the benefit of the doubt when it comes to communication.
We do things like not asking for clarification because we’re afraid we’ll look stupid. we assume the wrong thing or assume that we’ve been understood.
Horses will immediately let you know by their actions whether they understood your request or not.
For example, how clear were you when you asked the horse to take a step backward? Did you get the results you were looking for? Did he back up straight? Did he take three steps when you asked for only one? Did he misunderstand and just turn his head and walk away?
These responses become opportunities for you to practice clarity in your communication.
Taking what is now a new part of you—the new learning—back to the office is much more likely to stick because you’ve had a chance to practice.
Does your organization focus more on Training or on Learning? How do you practice what you’ve learned? Your comments are always appreciated.