May 24, 2023

“So what is your secret to keeping what you learnt, fresh in your memory?” I popped this question to some of my colleagues over a casual conversation around learning programs. What followed was an interesting discussion with a mash-up of tips and suggestions from 2 groups- One who gave a learner’s perspective and the other who chose to speak as themselves or program designers. I bring excerpts from the discussion for you.(Dev, 25 yrs, is a solutions Consultant and attends a range of skill development as well as leadership programs.)# Tip 1 : Get Good At Taking Notes : “I have a habit of referring to notes at later stage. I found that they were not comprehensible after a few months. Probably because some concepts begin to fade away. To avoid this, I make notes for future. I add examples, tips and special mentions along with highlights of the session, so that there is better recall. I also jot down real time thoughts that I get during the program around - where I could apply a particular learning at work."Its also a good idea to keep left side of each page for summary and things to do. Later, I compile it all for an action item list to be implemented soon after”.(Vinod, 25 yrs, is also a solutions consultant and regularly attends meet-ups and programs on self-development.)# Tip 2 : Be Explorative. Find Out New Opportunities to Apply Learning: “ The first thing I do after a program is to find out where all I can apply it. I get started. Not that I know how far I am going to be good at it, but that doesn’t stop me from taking a baby step.The next thing that I do is explore where else I could apply what I learnt, because I am sure there will be always be scenarios which could be handle better. For example, after Arun’s ( one of the founding partners) session on driving relevant conversation during client meeting, I try and implement some points during initial phone calls with prospective clients as well.”( Lubna, 27 yrs, is a client success manager and is more of an on the job learner, who takes feedback of how she can be better in her work, very seriously.)# Tip 3 : Practice makes my learning perfect. “I have made it a practice to practice . Once I have learnt something new, I never repeat past mistakes. I may not get good at it immediately, but I make sure I don’t drop out of it. In the beginning, I was not careful about rules for punctuation, but I relentlessly practiced how to get good at it. Today I can spot errors in emails and can prompt my team about it.”(Sagar,30,is a product development manager and known for his nerdiness. He never loses an opportunity to get better at coding)# Tip 4 : Link it to your existing knowledge: “Compare what you already know and mark how different the new rules and and concepts are, as compared to what you are already doing. Then the learning becomes easy. For example, I when I learnt coding for Android, the first thing I did was figure out how is it different is the transcript Java. Once I linked it, it became quite easy.”Also, make sure you research on your own and understand concepts in depth.”Joining us in the discussion , we had Hanuman who heads Labs with Suhas and Aditya who were two hats- Product Development and Facilitation.“ Hey guys, from an L&D Leader’s standpoint, how do you think Learning can be made sustainable for a longer period? “#Tip 6: Actionable learning is key. “It is important that facilitators help participants make actions items based- on what they learnt during a program by using the SMART framework. If the action items are sharp enough, they also get easy buy-in from their managers who have to play a major role in their implementation journey.”# Tip 7: Retention Modules are a very effective way to reinforce key takeaways. We have seen that implementation level goes up when participants have gone through retention modules. Hafele were initially reluctant to push participants for completing online modules, since it meant extra time. However after going through it, the participants felt that it really improved their understanding on key takeaways and would like to receive more periodical modules like these.”# Tip 8: Relevance and Reinforcement are key to sustenance ; “ I think, the closer the key takeaways are to a participant’s real work challenges, the better they are retained. Distant or Abstract concepts get easily pushed back memory lane.When it comes to Reinforcement, it has to come in different forms- multiple sources and media. Take each concept and talk about it during Face to face discussions, via emails , through social media, etc. More the buzz word, better the recall. Keep it simple for maximum engagement.One could share relevant articles, and real life implementation stories of companies similar to their. An Infographics is also a highly effective piece of content for reinforcement. Collect and share testimonials from influencers. You could also facilitate informal discussions and meetups around the topic.” ( That’s a whole lot of stuff for the next blog post folks!)

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