by Tim Brunson, PhD
For years I have studied experts in a wide range of endeavors, included sports, science, and the arts, as well as professional trainers. There are three attributes that each of them share. They have developed an exceptional ability to install new information, to increase the depth of their knowledge, and have the ability to trigger superior performance with ease. These three steps apply both to the trainer's skills as well as to how to accelerate the student's progress.
My studies have involved two groups of people. The first are those that either started early in life or have dedicated thousands of hours of practice. Someone has been in the training and education for several decades would be included in that group. The second are those people who seem to be able to rapidly acquire and master expert skills. It is this second group that interests me the most. Here are some of my conclusions.
The installation of the vocabulary and syntax of a new set of skills works faster if it can be done with a sense of excitement and wonder. An impactful presentation that involves a student's visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning channels will get into their heads faster than a mundane and boring approach. Observing masterful demonstrations also helps.
Repetition through practice is great. However, so is the use of relaxing guided imagery, which is a technique that I use with sports enthusiasts such as golfers. The goal is to get the student to mentally repeat the information either physically or in their minds. The latter is especially important, as you are seeking to reinforce the depth of mental programming – which is the true definition of mastery.
Lastly, students need to develop the ability to recall competent performance as will. A competent presenter can subtly make suggestions during the previous two steps. Such suggestions may include that they will easily recall the information during the following practical exercise. Then, using role playing, quizzes, and other techniques is excellent for developing their recall proficiency.
This three step process will rapidly achieve fantastic results when used by a talented presenter. These are just some of the concepts taught in my Enhancing Performance: Unleashing your True Human Potential course.