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Myths about Training and Learning

interesting article I found… do not know whether the article is possibly true or the myths are… another question for discussion here is: does a MYTH become TRUE when most people start BELIEVE in it?

Myths about Training and Learning

Myths have a way of perpetuating themselves. There are quite a few related to training and learning too. Everyone seems to believe in them. So much so that they have become sacrosanct and no one even bothers to question them.

 

When I heard some for the first time, it was in the context of a training program that I was myself going through. My first reaction was: ‘Wow! That sounds incredible.’ In the enthusiasm of the collective wows that were generated, I accepted the myths as truth.

But I soon realized I was not comfortable believing in them. Intuitively, I knew they could not be true.

 

Now all these myths seemed to be backed up by solid research though. So I wondered if I was being my usual arrogant self by questioning these supposed universal ‘truths’.

But I started my probe anyway and what I found really warmed my heart! These were myths for sure, very similar to urban legends that get popularized without any sound basis. Read on and join me in smashing them.

 

Myth 1: You remember 10% of what you read, 20% of what you hear, 30% of what you see and 90% of what you do.

 

This is a widely repeated statement by trainers all over the world. Maybe you’ve been subjected to this statement at some time as well. I hope you have  The round figures are easily remembered but completelyJnot made it though. wrong.

 

The findings can be traced to one D.G. Treichler, an employee of Mobil Oil Company, who put forth these figures in 1967.

 

However, the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science has laid claim to the figures, saying they are based on research in the early sixties and bizarrely adding that ‘we no longer have – nor can we find – the original research that supports the numbers’.

Though, there are many arguments against these figures, one that is most obvious is that all the percentages are perfectly round. What research into human behaviour ever resulted in four different round numbers?

 

Myth 2: In communication, only 7% of the meaning is conveyed through the speaker’s words, 55% through his facial expressions and the rest 38% through tone of voice.

 

I am sure you have come across this lulu too, especially if you have attended communication or NLP programs. In one sweeping statement, words are reduced to an insignificant role in the great game of communication.

 

Yet, when we think about this deeply, the fallacies start becoming obvious. Is it really possible that if I get lost in Shanghai and ask a passer-by for directions, I’ll have to work out the correct route mostly from their facial expressions and tone of voice, and not from the words they use?

 

The findings are attributed to research done by Mehrabian but, in reality, they are just a distorted version of what Mehrabian himself has to say on his website. He expresses the results of his research in the form of an equation:

 

Total liking = 7% verbal liking + 38% vocal liking + 55% facial liking

 

He explains that “this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e. like-dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable.”

 

Myth 3: We use 10% of our brain (or anywhere from 1% to 15% depending upon where you have read it).

 

This one is so popular, even Albert Einstein is usually roped in as one of the endorsers! The media too has played a role in orchestrating this myth. Many of us therefore look at it as given.

 

Scientists have tried for years to change this misconception. They have clearly stated that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that we use only 10% of our brains. In fact it is very hard to say what using just 10% of your brain means.

It could mean that I could cut 90% of my brain and be just fine or that I just use only one out of every ten nerve cells at any one time. Let’s attack this one with common sense.

 

First of all, it is obvious that the brain, like all other organs, has been shaped by natural selection. Brain tissue is metabolically expensive both to grow and to run.

It strains credulity to think that evolution would have permitted squandering of resources on a scale necessary to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ.

 

Secondly, losing far less than 90 percent of the brain to accident or disease has catastrophic consequences. Various medical tests reveal that there does not seem to be any area of the brain that can be destroyed without leaving the patient with some kind of functional deficit.

 

Likewise, electrical stimulation of points in the brain during neurosurgery has failed so far to uncover any dormant areas where no percept, emotion or movement is elicited by applying these tiny currents.

 

Having dug hard and deep, I find no evidence at all to support this myth.

The most powerful lure of the myth is probably the idea that we might develop psychic abilities, or at least gain a leg up on the competition by improving our memory or concentration.

 

All this is available for the asking, the ads say, if we just tapped into our most incredible of organs, the brain. It is past time to put this myth to rest, although if it has survived at least a century so far, it will surely live on into the new millennium.

 

The next time you are subjected to this one, just ask the speaker politely “Oh? What part don’t you use?”

 

Author: Shalu Wasu ;  Source: Tickled by Life

 

About Revathi Turaga

Revathi Turaga is an international Meta Mind Management trainer, inspirational speaker, and behavioral coach.

Based in Hyderabad and heading GAMMA’s business development corporate operations in South India, she holds certifications and trains in Edward de Bono ‘s Six Thinking Hats and lateral Thinking, NLP certified practitioner, Creativity, Positive Attitude and Excellence Workshops of Meta Mind Management, psychometric assessments and profiling tools such as DISC, MBTI, PAPI & 16PF, Dale Carnegie’s Presentation skills, etc. She can be reached at +91 98666 45870 or info@revathionline.com. Visit http://www.revathionline.com

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November 19, 2008 Posted by | Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Marketing of President Obama

Barack Obama`s run for the White House was a model of marketing excellence. Here`s why it worked so well.

When the book is written on this election, it should not be titled The Making of a President but The Marketing of a President. Barack Obama`s campaign is a case study in marketing excellence.

True, it was always going to be a Democratic year. An unpopular war, an incumbent Republican president with rock bottom approval ratings, and many Republican incumbents retiring from Congress as a result all meant that change was in the air. Add to that the economic meltdown that decimated millions of 401(k) retirement plans and undercut any Republican claim to be the better steward of the economy.
But, even so, for an inexperienced, single-term, African-American senator tagged with the most liberal voting record to defeat the heir apparent in his own party and then go on to hold off the much-vaunted Republican machine is a truly remarkable achievement. Much of it has to do with Obama`s instinct for marketing.

First, Obama`s personal charisma, his listening and public speaking skills, his consistently positive and unruffled demeanor, and his compelling biography attracted the attention and empathy of voters.

Second, Obama converted this empathy into tangible support. More citizens volunteered time and money to help the Obama campaign than any previous presidential candidate. Indeed, he attracted more donors than the entire Democratic or Republican party nationwide. Almost half of Obama`s unprecedented $639 million in funds raised from individuals came from small donors giving $300 or less.

Third, his fundraising prowess was aided by his appreciation and use of all communications media, notably the Internet, to engage voters. Obama picked up where Howard Dean left off. He leveraged his website, the blogosphere, and even user-generated content (remember Obama Girl) and video games to engage not just donors and volunteers but all citizens. From the imaginative campaign logo to the thirty-minute infomercial, Obama`s communications were professional without being slick, attention-getting without being in-your-face.

Fourth, Obama reached out to all citizens. He targeted his message beyond previous or likely voters. He built a coalition that energized young, first-time voters and registered thousands of previous non-voters. His organization encouraged early voting by Democrats to build well-publicized poll leads and to reduce the chances of supporters being discouraged from voting by long lines at polling places on election day. This policy of inclusion meant that voting records were set in the general election and the primaries.

Fifth, his advertising messages and his tone and demeanor throughout the campaign consistently communicated his upbeat themes of hope and “change you can believe in.” The emotional appeal was buttressed with solid and specific policy details. The ability to combine emotional with functional benefits and the discipline to be consistent in positioning and message delivery are core to all successful branding campaigns. Ads that dealt with specific policy issues, even ads criticizing McCain, all continued to communicate the core themes.

Sixth, he anticipated and outsmarted the competition. Throughout, he showed respect for Clinton and then McCain, even as he successfully tagged a McCain administration as Bush`s third term. But he and his advisers managed the political chess board brilliantly. Early on, he anticipated and defused negative criticisms by admitting to past indiscretions in his autobiography. His campaign rebutted the criticisms in a hostile biography point by point before they gained traction. Negative advertising by his opponents was countered quickly, not only in ads but on the Internet as well.

Seventh, he fought the ground war as brilliantly as the air war. Building on Howard Dean`s 50 state strategy, he built his primary delegate count by investing time in Democratic caucuses in red states; the organizations he built for the primaries in these states set him up to win several of them in the general. In the closing weeks, he put McCain on defense in multiple red states, making it tough for the Republican to focus his efforts. Having relied on public funding, McCain ended up having to make some tough trade-offs regarding where to go and where to spend his money. Obama did not.

Finally, Obama chose an excellent marketing and campaign team, and managed them well. From start to finish, there was no public dissension. He chose a non-controversial, experienced Senator as his running mate who complemented his lack of foreign policy skills. McCain only assembled a smooth-running campaign team late in the day. And the maverick made a surprise choice of an unknown running mate that, in the final analysis, undercut his ability to tag Obama as inexperienced, and called McCain`s judgment into question.

Like any great brand, Obama has built up a bond of trust with the American people. His election has also given the United States the opportunity to reestablish its moral leadership around the world. But like any brand, he has to deliver now on his promises, both actual and perceived. In the current economy, that will not be easy.

About the Author
Professor John Quelch is the senior associate dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
Source: harvard working knowledge

November 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment