Act FAST to make learning stick

Just been on a training course?  Just had a coaching session?  Just learned something new?  Good for you.

Now here’s what to do if you want to hang on to that learning – ACT FAST!

Otherwise, the learning will just drip, drop away.  This forgetting (it’s very well documented) happens horribly quickly.  Next thing you know, two weeks have passed by and you can’t remember when you did the training, let alone what it was about.

So don’t wait, do it now.

Re-read your notes.  Of course you had notes.  You may even have got a lovely hand-out that you scribbled on.  Re-read them within 24 hours to double the chance of you remembering what they say and all the associated memories from the session. Dog ate your notes?  Ask a colleague if you can copy theirs.

Talk to your manager.  Within a few hours is good.  Within minutes even better.  Within a day is OK.  Waiting until ‘the right time’ just doesn’t cut it.  Ask ‘when today will be a good time?’ and have the conversation.  Your manager is a major influence on your opportunities to try out what you’ve learned.  You need to talk to them about how you will do just that. 

Talk to your mentor.  Lucky you if you have one at your employer.  No mentor?  You can find help via an online network or discussion group.  Or simply ask someone you trust.  Again, this conversation needs to happen pretty urgently.  How can you use what you have learned?

Team up with a buddy from the same training.  Share your long-term goals and commit to immediate actions that will help you get started. Check in on progress regularly.  Hold each other accountable. 

Set a date to do it, soon.  This is particularly important for any practical skill, whether it’s delivering a presentation, having an appraisal discussion or using new software. 

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