Retaining Knowledge Learnt During Training

Retaining Knowledge Learnt During Training

At IKON Training, our trainers share valuable knowledge during their sessions to give delegates the ability to work in a safer and more confident manner. A lot of information is given during our training courses, which isn’t useful unless the knowledge is retained. Therefore, it is important that trainers do as much as possible to help increase the amount of information delegates remember, by helping them to produce more Long-Term Memories (LTMs). This can be achieved by producing different types of stimuli, deeper processing, repetition, association, mnemonics and sleep. By understanding how you store and retrieve memories, you can improve your what you remember in everyday life.


‘Short-Term’ and ‘Long-Term’ Memories

When the brain is stimulated, circuits of neurons in the brain, known as neural networks, are created, altered or strengthened. These pathways of neural activity are what we call memories. We create Short-Term Memories (STM) throughout the day, for example memories of cars, people and trees you see on the way to work. Only some of these STMs are consolidated and turned in to Long-Term Memories (LTM). These memories can be accessed later. STMs are turned in to LTM through the process of consolidation, which involves rehearsing and making meaningful associations. For example, by driving to work every day, the route you take is consolidated into your LTM by repetition. This allows you to drive to work without looking at a map.


Our aim in our training sessions is to help delegate’s make STMs about effective ways to deal with conflict. Then help increase the amount of these memories that are consolidated to make LTMs. This can be done in several different ways, including using different types of stimuli; repetition, association and sleep.


Different ways to encode memories

Different types of stimuli are encoded in different ways. The more ways memories are encoded, the more chance they will be stored in our LTM. Memories are encoded in three different ways: visually, acoustically and semantically. Memories are encoded in our STM visually when people see things. For example, when a person views a tall blue vase, this will be visually encoded in to their STM by producing neural connections. Memories are also encoded into STMs acoustically from auditory stimuli. For example, if someone says the words “blue vase”. If someone then goes on to explain what this blue vase looks like, the brain will make further neural connections as it stores this information acoustically. For it to be semantically encoded, the person must learn the meaning behind the blue vase; that it holds flowers and it is blue because it belongs to your Aunt and that’s her favourite colour. This is a deeper level of processing, which increases the chances of you remembering the information by storing it in your LTM. By combining the three ways of encoding, you are increasing the chances of you remembering the information because you are processing it deeper and creating various neural pathways that can be used to access the memory.


IKON Trainers take encoding methods in to consideration. They provide visual stimuli (presentations) and acoustic stimuli (discussing the points raised) to create STMs. Trainers will then help move these memories to LTMs by providing explanations and meaning – exploring the principles behind discussion points. This helps delegates to encode the memories deeper on a semantic level, which increases the amount of LTMs formed. As an example, our trainers will show and say words associated with conflict, for example “stress”, then they will explain it, “stress could cause conflict because stressed individuals might be short and rude with their colleagues”. These techniques should increase the amount of information stored in the delegate’s LTM.


Deeper level of processing

Another way of retaining more information during training is to process information at a deeper level by making associations. This can be done by relating it to other LTMs you already have. For example, if you owned a red Fiat in 2008 and your friend bought a new red Fiat, you would remember the colour and brand of the car more easily because you can relate it to your own past.


IKON Trainers always ask delegates to give examples of conflict and situations they have experienced. This allows delegates to link up the new information they are learning with past experiences. This increases the chance of delegates remembering information given in training sessions, as it can personally relate to them.


Repetition and strengthening memories

Another way to increase the retention of memories is through repetition. Repetition helps strengthens memories, meaning they will last for longer and will be more easily recalled. This is because whenever something is learnt and revisited, neural networks, are created, altered or strengthened.


Trainers will repeat and recap information given in the sessions. This strengthens neural connections and therefore memories. So, when delegates are faced with conflict in the workplace, they will be able to easily recall techniques from the training sessions to help diffuse the current situation.


Acronyms help you to retain memories

Acronyms are a pronounceable word made from the initial letters of other words/phrases. For example, UNICEF stands for The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. They help you to retain hard to remember information because it’s much easier to remember a single word than what the individual letters stand for. Remembering this single word should then be enough of a trigger in the brain to help you retrieve the rest of the information.


Our trainers use acronyms during their training sessions to help delegates remember useful models that can be used to defuse conflict. For example, our trainers teach delegates a useful step-by-step model used to defuse conflict, called LEAPS. This an easy remember word which stands for Listen, Empathy, Ask, Paraphrase and Summaries. This model helps people to move away from conflict situations by moving from the problem to the problem-solving stage.  This single word enables delegate’s to quickly remember the model and use it in real life situations.


Sleeping is good for memories

After LTMs have been formed, an excellent way to further consolidation is to sleep! While you sleep, your brain is working away and sifting through all the neural connections in your brain. This enables useless connections to be broken down and useful ones (things learnt during training) to be strengthened. Therefore, after a training session it is a great idea to make sure you get a great night’s sleep to help consolidate everything you have learnt.


It is clear to see there are many techniques that can help you increase what you remember from training sessions but they’re also great for every day life. Encoding information in different ways; repetition, association and sleeping. Our trainers do give you a helping hand by using these techniques in sessions. If you would like to read further about the different training courses or resources we provide, please click HERE to find suitable courses.  

Published Thursday, January 5th, 2017
Categories: Ikon Training

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