Increasing Knowledge Transfer

One of the biggest challenges of designing a learning session, such as a workshop, a class or program, is determining how best to help people transfer the skills and tools they acquired into their jobs.  I read recently that if you give students approximately 15 minutes to reflect and write about what they have learned at the end of your training day the odds of transfer increase by 25% or more.  

Often as a facilitator – either in-house or external – you feel lucky to get the half-day, day or even 2 hours for training that the idea of leaving some quiet time at the end of a training session may feel uncomfortable.  However, if our true goal is to have individuals perform more effectively and with more ease at their jobs, than I think it is a good return on investment.  

Outside of the classroom, I believe there is great possibility to apply this principle as well. Statistics show that many people experience work days that are filled with meeting after meeting.  At home, several of us have a pinball game-like existence in which we run from one thing to the next, from picking up the kids, visiting and caring for parents, making meals, taking care of the home, as well as volunteer commitments and sports activities.

Why not build in some time to reflect and focus your energy?  Consider the following:

  • After a meeting at work, take a few minutes before going to your next appointment to identify what the 3 big take-aways were at the meeting?  
  • At the end of your work day, triage your to do list for the next day.  What absolutely has to get done?  When will you make time for it?  What has to be removed from your calendar or who can you get help from in order to make it happen?
  • On your way home from work, consider what your priorities for your evening are?  Few of us will ever get our to do lists completely done.  What’s most important for tonight?  Set limits and aim to be present and available to your family when you are with them.
  • Before you go to sleep at night, reflect on your day.  What lessons did you learn?  Identify 3 things you are grateful for.

In our fast-paced world, many of us have a tendency to fill our days with a lot of activity.  But are we learning and growing from what we are experiencing?  Build in some breathing time to process and reflect and just like designing a workshop the return on your investment in life will increase.