How Learning Transfer Is the Key to Better Success

By far, the best part of doing social media for SkillPath is connecting with our customers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Aside from the kudos for our seminars, and yes … the occasional complaint, one of the most frequent things I’m asked is, “How do I know this training will help me?” Most of the time, my reply is usually, “We’ve been doing this for 25 years, have trained over 10 million people and we’re experts at learning transfer!”

If you don’t know, learning transfer is a fancy term for applying the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned during training to real life.

Let’s say you attend a seminar on conflict management. Then, the next day at work, you use some of the techniques you learned to effectively mediate a disagreement between two co-workers. Or, you respond professionally to a colleague’s put-down without losing your temper. That’s learning transfer.

As a training industry professional for the two decades, I very much believe in the importance of learning transfer. After all, the purpose of training is to change behavior and improve performance. If that doesn’t happen, all the time, effort and money invested in training is wasted.

Therefore, the million-dollar question is: How do you know before you enroll in training that what you learn will stick?

Look for these signs—they’re all proven components of successful learning transfer:

  • A safe and controlled learning environment
  • Individual assessment of existing skills
  • Clearly stated learning objectives
  • Interactive format linked with dynamic lecture
  • A workbook that keeps you focused during the training and serves as a reference back on the job
  • Opportunities to practice and get comfortable with new skills
  • Engaging exercises and activities that boost retention
  • Experienced trainers and subject matter experts
  • Focus on practical skills—not just theory
  • Individual reflection and exercises that deepen self-awareness
  • Effective visuals and multimedia that engage learners
  • Realistic examples of how skills apply to the workplace

Just about any expert in career advancement will tell you that continuing your learning and training is the only way to keep up. It was that way 100 years ago and it will be that way 100 years from now.

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