You spend a few days going through some training. Maybe it’s excellent training—compelling and engaging, with high fidelity exercises that reinforce your new found skill set. You vow to use these skills… boy/girl scouts honor.
Fast forward 90 days and you’re right back where you started. Ahh… the age-old transfer of training dilemma. Old habits die hard, right?
Our default response is to blame some aspect of the training. The training was flawed! The facilitator was a hack! Maybe that’s true, but let’s assume that the training was impeccably designed. Let’s consider the possibility that the reason you’re back to square one is you.
That’s right, you might be part of the reason you’re not soaking in all that golden training goodness for the long haul. And the explanation for that has to do with you’re brain. Time for an analogy.
Imagine you’re driving your car when the gas light comes on. You’re no where near a safe point to refuel.
What ever will you do?
Turn off all the unnecessary gas-utilizing features you can. First to go is the AC, but you put the windows down to maintain some airflow. Eventually, you’re forced to suck it up and put the windows back up for the sake of fuel efficiency.
As the driver in that scenario, you have to decide which functions you can go without to ensure you make it to a rest stop. Your brain does the same thing.
Your brain requires rest and down time to function optimally. And when we’re burning it at both ends (lots of us are), your brain does things to conserve its resources. Newly learned skills require more effort for your brain to execute, which means they’re some of the first things to get cut when you’re running on fumes. Your brain resorts back to what’s easier to do—enter old habits.
Bottom line—if you’re not making room for a little R&R in the weeks following your training, you’re setting yourself up to fall back into old habits. TGIF, FOT Nation!
Chelsea Rowe is the Leadership Development Consultant at Kinetix, where she is charged with creating a disruptive leadership development program that turns heads. She combines the science with practical hard-knocks lessons to turn managers from cat herders to kick-ass people leaders. Connect with her on LinkedIn to start a conversation or check out her blog at www.chelsea-rowe.com.