It’s not about Knowledge, it’s about reach.
It’s not about practice, it’s about purpose.
Challenge VS Support
When you wish to learn something, what do you do?
You look for new knowledge to acquire! Snap! Just like that.
Then again, you know you won't simply learn automatically just by getting exposed to new information. Ah yes, you guessed it (you are quite the crafty bunch): You will also need practice!
After all, it's simple, isn't it?
Learning = (New knowledge) + (Tons of practice)
Well then, why does your piano playing still suck so bad after all the hours spent inside as a kid while your friends were out at the park getting high on weird candy? And ironically, why did you get so skilled at something as useless as Mario Bros without even planning to?
The learning process is much more complex than just eating up data and repeating a routine… So how does it work? And more specifically, how do you help someone learn efficiently?
Here is a really swell concept to dip your brain in:
Learning (or development) largely depends on
a relationship between CHALLENGE & SUPPORT
We're not even talking about knowledge or practice here! This idea runs on a different perspective: It's not about learning, it's about transformation. “Facing an obligation to adapt” (Challenge) and “having available resources to do so” (Support) leads you to develop - which is quite a transformation.
Let's take a look at the following diagram to better illustrate all that:
In this graphic:
Simply put, this graphic says that:
Low Challenge + Low Support = Stasis
Integration of the concept:
When you want to help someone learn something, this all becomes very important to consider. Offering the right balance of challenge and support will be decisive in the shape of the learning curve.
Too much support will spoil development by making things look too easy.
Too much pressure will crush development by making achievement impossible.
Pressure is a positive thing if met with equal support.
Challenge gives you purpose.
Support gives you reach.
In terms of approach, this development model is much more representative of the coaching dynamics than any other type of training, but the same concepts apply in mentoring also. Of course, things will play differently since mentoring is widely driven by a relationship (whereas coaching is driven by objectives).
There is much more to say about this idea but I think we both know you should stop surfing the net now and get back to work (if you are at the office) or shine your Rolls Royce (if you are at home). But since there is still so much more to say about this concept, we will dig deeper into its secrets in order to get the most out of it.
Among other things, we will discuss:
You will find all this very soon in our next blog posts, starting with "Challenge VS Support II".