Have you ever watched and listened to a training program and were inspired to implement what you learned, only to find later that you never implemented anything?

I gave a two-hour presentation years ago at a law firm’s new partner orientation. I received several emails from the new partners and the person who had invited me telling me how much they valued what I told them. A few months later I asked the person who invited me how the  new partners were implementing the ideas I shared with them. She told me they had not implemented anything I had shared with them. I was puzzled and wanted to better understand why they were not implementing what I taught them.

At that point, I decided I had to learn more about why it is so difficult to implement what we are taught and what steps we can take to do a better job. I  began studying neuroscience and learning how the brain works.

I learned many things, including that when you are taught something, the brain stores it in your “working memory” and to make learning stick the brain must move the information from working memory to the basal ganglia at the base of the brain. (This is where routines and habits are stored).

If you want to learn more about this check out: HR Magazine: The Brain at Work. As you will see there and in other articles and books, the way you will be able to implement what I, or others teach you is to “use it or lose it.” That means take some action based on what I shared with you. You will also see that getting a good night’s sleep is important and focusing on small chunks of new information at a time is important.

You might also read: The Neuroscience of Leadership by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz. There the authors write:

A 1997 study of 31 public-sector managers by Baruch College researchers Gerald Olivero, K. Denise Bane, and Richard E. Kopelman found that a training program alone increased productivity 28 percent, but the addition of follow-up coaching to the training increased productivity 88 percent.

So, if you want to learn client development skills and actually implement them, don’t just attend a training program. Engage in some follow up coaching. I wrote about this in my post:  Why start your own client development coaching group? If you want to start your own group, I will be happy to share my ideas with you.