Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's Your Point?

There is only one point to this post. Really.

People tend to process and retain information according to their learning style. There's visual, auditory and tactile styles to name a few, although none seem as universal and effective as negative reinforcement. Some use these methods in combination, boosting retention rates to as much as 90%.

There is no auditory track to this post.
Feel free to read aloud while slapping yourself it helps.

Pay Attention. Not just to the task at hand, but to things going on around you. You will avoid walking into posts.

Keep an open mind. Listen more and talk less. When talking, it's generally about something you already know. On occasion however, you'll get a response you didn't expect so don't give it up altogether.

If you're willing to help yourself, people will generally be willing to help you. So help others when it makes sense to do so and it is within your means.

Think about what you're doing. Some outcomes are more predictable than others. Play the tape all the way to the end. Rewind.

And finally, life can get messy. Rub some dirt on it. Pace yourself.
You will get out of it what you put in it.

In my line of work the budgets, schedules and level of complexity are always challenging to say the least. We monitor hundreds of inter-related tasks to help ensure we are on track toward the intended outcome. Almost unfailingly, we think we've reached 90% complete only to discover there is really 30% of the effort remaining. That's usually when the real slapping starts, because we have apparently failed to learn. Again. 

And now, the point. Let's say you've used any combination of learning styles to retain 90% of the lesson. That leaves the 10% you didn't retain. Now if that 10% is anything like the 10% to-go I described above, that's where the real work is. It's effort. It's applying these principles in your daily affairs.

Wait - was that really the point?


  1. great post and i to believe everyone learns differently

  2. I agree with above, great post! I am such a visual learner, I heavily rely on it (which is bad when over here). I had to stop by real quick to tell you that the very first thing I learned in German was "Lech mich am Arsch" Great minds really do think alike! haha

  3. @becca: You make yet another good point! Thanks!
    @TGN: Hope you are enjoying your trip, or as they say Gut Fahrt. hahahaha

  4. I know I'm a bit behind, but I love this post. Much more succinct than you were perhaps worried it might not be. ;) Keep it up, Rusk. It may not seem like anyone's listening sometimes, but the world needs more of this in it.

  5. @ Firespark: With thanks to my editors :)