Practice Makes Permanent

You know a long time ago when I was a crew member for Burger King, on my very first shift I was taught to make a Bacon Deluxe burger without bacon. Subsequently I had to consciously remember the bacon for months to come. When I was given the privilege to train a new crew member I trained my very first trainee how to make a cheeseburger and forgot to tell them to put the cheese on the burger, it was hard to re-train the person and I don’t really know how many cheeseburgers became unexpected hamburgers. So what’s the point of all this? Well the thing is when we train, coach or develop a person it’s critical to give them the correct information, especially during their learning phases, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a child or an adult. You see their brains are open to new information, absorbing every bit of information they receive, storing it whether the information is right or wrong. They are like sponges taking in everything they are going to need to know to do well at school, or in the workplace. When we get it wrong it’s so much harder to rewire that learning. It’s even harder when the practice has made that skill permanent; you see the thing is practice makes permanent, no it’s not a typo there is no such thing as perfection, I will blog about that later. But back to my point practice makes permanent, let’s think about that for a minute…. the more we practice something, the better we get at it right? The better we get at it, the more permanent it becomes, we become what’s known as unconsciously competent. Which is great if we are doing the activity or process correctly. BUT, on the flip side when we don’t do an activity or process correctly, it too is permanent. Now, why is this important? Well in everyday life we are constantly being taught things or we are teaching things to other people, including our kids. As business owners, coaches, mentors, business leaders, teachers and parents we have the responsibility to have the correct knowledge to pass on to people we are teaching. We cannot guess it; we cannot fake it until we make it, we cannot make it up as we go, we have a duty and responsibility whether we like it and whether we know how to teach people with accurate information. In my opinion, if you don’t know you simply don’t have the right to teach others. The only right you have is to go out and learn it once you have learned and understood it, then you have the right to teach. You don’t see the nurse training the surgical intern to perform surgery or the plumber teaching the electrical apprentice how to wire a switch. There is a reason for this. Yep, they do not know. So they do not have the right to teach others. So why in business do we see so many people teaching people things they don’t have the experience to teach? Why are there so-called digital marketing specialists out there teaching digital marketing when they were a sales assistants, or a business coach coaching how to successfully run a business but have never run someone else’s business or their own business, or parents teaching their kids maths when they performed poorly in maths themselves. I guess people assume there is no harm, it’s not life or death and I guess it’s not! But it’s unfair on the clients, the staff or children when we get it wrong. Because the thing is whether the information taught is correct or incorrect the repetition of it creates permanency, which is great if it’s correct but much harder to relearn if it’s wrong. So next time you sit down to teach someone something be sure you are the right person because I am sure you want to be taught by people with the correct knowledge.

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Ann-Marie Woudstra

After 22+ years working with Startups, Business Coaches, Online Businesses, Fuel, Pharmaceutical, Franchises, Retail, Wholesale, Food & Beverage, Convenience Retail and the Not For Profit sector, lets just say Ann-Marie has picked up a thing or two and has a few tricks up her sleeves. Ann-Marie is well known across all sectors as the 'go to' person if you're wanting to create a high performance team or implement operational excellence into your business or positive changes in your personal life.

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