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The Limitations of Learning Online

leonsergent communications - Prise de parole en public/Public Speaking

The web is certainly an endless source of advice of all sorts and many of us have relied on online courses to hone our skills. Whether it is to improve our communication skills, learn how to manage a virtual team or become a better leader, many solutions are available to professionals at little or no cost and that's all great. The trouble is that these lessons often leave us on our appetite or cannot induce real change.

Online Videos

While watching various winter sports instructional videos on YouTube over the weekend, a lingering doubt set in (with which I am rather familiar as a Learning and Development professional) triggering a reflection on the key elements of how humans acquire and perfect new skills.

Practice Makes Perfect

When I started in training and professional development, one of my mentors, an avid golfer, shared with me that by practicing, with considerable enthusiasm and energy, what he believed to be, the exact same swing he had seen on a video of a well-known golf professional, he had perfected a world class slice! For him, Practice makes perfect had a whole other meaning! Practice makes perfect avait un tout autre sens!

Practice Makes Permanent

In the case of my colleague, the saying should go: Practice makes permanent. This anecdote highlights the importance of involving an experienced sounding board who acts as a guide and advisor to provide timely and dynamic feedback. This also means adjusting the course of action to one's individual objectives. Even the best golfers in the world rely on other professionals to help them troubleshoot their swing. Practice makes permanent. C’est par la pratique qu’on atteint un résultat permanent. Cet exemple met en lumière l’importance de mettre à contribution un vis-à-vis expérimenté qui agit à titre de guide et de conseiller afin offrir une rétroaction ponctuelle et dynamique. Ceci veut dire aussi rectifier le tir en fonction de ses objectifs individuels. Même les meilleurs golfeurs au monde ont recours à d’autres professionnels pour leur offrir un miroir fidèle.

Having a sounding board

Should you choose to spend hours online learning the intricacies of the diagonal stride in classic cross-country skiing, the science behind the three phases of the alpine skiing parallel turn or how to become a better leader, it would be unwise to underestimate the importance of a coach or training professional, a virtual or in-person counterpart who can help you invest your energies more productively for results that match your efforts.

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