Practice Makes Perfect

Man holding sigh: Practice Makes Perfect

With practice, comes perfect – or so we’ve been told. When we see greatness in Olympic athletes or hear perfection in a musical piece, we know and accept the hours of practice and dedication it takes to reach this. Within these practice hours are countless moments of review and evaluation to ensure the finished product – the high jump or violin concerto is as good as it can be.

When we set out on own pursuits, possibly less grand but still important, do we incorporate the same self checks? Are we aware of what we’re doing? Do we listen to an outside voice – a coach or mentor to do something differently than we are. In many cases, we continue to do what we’ve always done because that’s what’s we’re comfortable with.

We don’t process or apply behavior changes we need to make.

When we learn, first we need to gain knowledge, that is, complete an act of reading, or listening or doing that gives us new information. Then we need to understand this new information. This is followed by applying the new knowledge. Ok, you can probably see where I’m going. As Bloom’s Taxonomy so clearly outlines, there is a six-step process to learning that begins with knowledge gain and understanding.

The learning process is an ongoing, continuous cycle as these six steps clearly show. But within each step there must be a personal awakening and awareness so repetition of bad habits can be broken.

Learning is similar to running a long race – without the physical aspect. You must stay focused and be aware of what you’re doing. Underneath the concentration of listening to your body, there is an undercurrent that is continually managing what you’re doing. It goes like this: focus on the goal, check your body – is it relaxed, aligned, how is my breathing. In physical pursuits we need to see what we’re doing, acknowledge how we’re doing and possibly make adjustments and then, let the thoughts go. Don’t get into the head, just keep moving.

With learning, we need to do the same. We need to train our thoughts: read, focus, comprehend, process, acknowledge it and let it go. This means watching out for the same places where we’ve tripped before when trying to learn something. Are we reading too fast, jumping ahead to apply something before really understanding it, making a quick judgment?

The first step in learning is gaining knowledge through activity and then stepping back to consider how it may relate to what I’m doing. These actions, in most cases, work seamlessly and we can apply new knowledge to solve a challenge or be creative to innovate something new.

If you or your team is stuck in old learning habits, or habits of any kind you want to change, call Ruth Kustoff @ 860.256.7879. Knowledge Advantage can help you identify new ways to learn and change old habits into new opportunities.

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