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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 | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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