After many years in the global medical technology world, I see an accelerating change where medical equipment innovation has become awe-inspiring. The industry comprises people at the height of their profession, some of the brightest minds in the world. There seems no limit to achievement. Innovative use of technology helps confront just about every human ailment and provides support for clinical teams striving to achieve better outcome for patients.
Yet from a manufacturers point of view, why do some professional users seem to learn new things much more quickly than others who take longer and fret in the process?
The challenge is how to make sure the training makes a fix? How to know that the people receiving this knowledge will be able to demonstrate precisely what is set out to teach them in the time frame? How confident can the trainer be?
Studies apparently show that at least four things are required before training succeeds. Obviously, the new skill needs delivering correctly to the trainee. Then, mastering the skill can only occur for delegates or students through the practice of perfection - not just ‘practice' but the practice of perfection! A safe and supportive environment becomes a third component for developing new skills, followed by the need for of individual self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy is geared to our belief system and reflects a personal judgment of capability. In short, whether or not we believe we can do specific things. It is also the key to how we can influence others and how much we can condition our wider space. While our level of self-efficacy can be general, most often it is task specific irrespective of station. We can be brilliant at some things but not others. So it makes perfect sense to say that vast differences can exist between us.
In my early corporate management career, I worked closely with the Pacific Institute of Seattle. As part of my company-wide role, I facilitated and presented their impressive ‘Investment in Excellence' programme to help our people manage significant organisational change and ultimately lead more effectively.
In amongst a plethora of people development options available today, the Pacific Institute flourishes more than ever. It provides bedrock thinking for any aspiring professional serious about raising the bar in personal performance. The legacy of their founder Lou Tice remains incomparable. His ability to interpret complex psychological concepts and through simple explanation, educate delegates how to manage change, lead more efficiently and grow toward a better self. The business thrives today.
I recall the close relationship between the Pacific Institute and Dr Albert Bandura, an internationally recognised expert on self-efficacy and discovered a lot about this subject.
In a recent e-mail message, the Pacific Institute again referenced Dr.Bandura. He tells us that when our self-efficacy is low, we avoid difficult tasks, give up quickly and are slow to recover confidence after failure or setbacks. He said, "self- efficacy appears when we practice enough to develop mastery and when we interpret that success due to our efforts rather than luck or circumstance.”
That, in turn, generates the secondary benefit of increased self-confidence.
He goes on to say, "When you are imparting knowledge to an individual or a group, break down tasks into manageable chunks. Develop practice aiming for perfection that leads to success and emphasise progress rather than shortfall.
Now that's how you get to deliver effective training that sticks while encouraging self-efficacy and increased confidence along the way.