To Transfer Training – Remember the ABCs of Learning

Behaviorists agree…there are three simple steps to learning something new and having it stick that apply to people of all ages...the ABC’s of Learning. Whether you are trying to learn to ski, to play the piano, or to create a PowerPoint presentation, it pays to follow these guidelines:
  1. Break the skill down so you can work on one aspect at a time. For skiing, first work on carving “S” turns on a very gentle slope. For piano, work on scales with the right hand alone. For PowerPoint, find a template you like and create titles and simple text. You get the idea: begin with small steps and make concrete progress.

  2. Visualize and talk yourself through each step. By imagining successful execution and thinking aloud about the elements of the skill, you are engaging all three modalities of learning—visual, auditory and tactile. Remember to reflect upon what is working and what is not working so that you can connect lessons learned to your next round of practice and application.

  3. Do not keep the skill to yourself. Share your learning with others. You will feel more accountable for your own progress and you will cement your learning through practice, demonstration and coaching the skill for new learners. Having a teachable point of view will go a long way toward transferring the new skills and knowledge back on the job.