Do you leverage deliberate practice for fuller employee engagement?
Going downhill? Are you good at running downhill fast while pushing a bobsled? How would you get good at that if you were from Jamaica and did not even have snow to work with? Here is a playful look at deliberate practice from the movie Cool Runnings:
Did you spot the elements of deliberate practice to get better at bobsledding?
Here are the features that Kevin Bishop outlined in his blog post at Anecdote:
- Repetition – Performing the task occurs repetitively rather than at its naturally occurring frequency
- Focused feedback: – Task performance is evaluated by a coach during performance
- Breaking the task down into its parts and practicing these individually and then as a whole
- Immediacy of performance – After corrective feedback on task performance there is an immediate repetition so that the task can be performed more in accordance with what is required/expected
- Stop and start– because of the repetition and feedback, deliberate practice is typically seen as a series of short performances
- Active coaching – Typically a coach must be very active during deliberate practice, monitoring performance, assessing adequacy, and controlling the structure of training
- Emphasis on difficult aspects – Deliberate practice will focus on more difficult aspects, for example, when flying an airplane normally only a small percentage of the flight time is taken up by takeoffs and landings. In deliberate practice simulators, however, a large portion of the time will be involved in landings and takeoffs
- Focus on areas of weakness – in real life situations people are striving to achieve the task and therefore are unlikely to do the things they see as a weakness or they think will stop them achieving. Deliberate practice therefore allows time and space to practice these elements
- Work vs. play – deliberate practice feels more like work and is more effortful than casual performance
Improvement. We improve through practice and we need to be deliberate in how we practice. Perhaps you are not going to learn such a radical skill but we can all learn to get better through the use of deliberate practice. In ourInfluencer work we advocate strong deliberate practice to build the skills of change.
More than a mere anecdote. I first encountered the above video of deliberate practice at Anecdote out of Australia, a group that specializes in organizations and stories. They offer a rich range of resources and I encourage you to visit their site if you want to improve your use of story at work. Of course, don’t forget you can learn about story there but you will need to get some deliberate practice with story in if you want to be more than “the same old story.”
Bonus: If you would like to watch a 40 minute webinar recording of How to Leverage the Power of Story to Bring Employee Engagement to Life, click here.