Who are easier to teach – the good performers or the average performers?
Teaching Smart People How to Learn
relatively permanent change in
behavior that occurs as
a result of experience.
Theories of learning
Classical Conditioning (Pavlov)
Unconditioned stimulus - meat
Unconditioned response - salivation
Conditioned stimulus - bell
Conditioned response – salivation on bell
Used by organizations?
Theories of learning (Contd.)
Operant Conditioning (Skinner)
Reflexive (unlearned) behavior
Conditioned (learned) behavior
Schedules of Reinforcement Fixed-ratio
Theories of learning (contd.)
People can learn through observation as well as direct experience.
People learn from
Activities that draw their attention
Retain in their minds
Are able to copy
Are reinforced positively
Social Learning Model of Self-Management Person (Psychological Self)
Behavior changes needed for self-improvement
Reminders and attention
Avoidance of negative
Seeking of positive cues
Personal goal setting
Building activities into
the task that are naturally
rewarding (e.g. activities
that increase one’s sense
of competence, self-
control and purpose)
Situational cues Consequences
Shaping Behavior or OB Mod
Systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves an individual closer to the desired response.
Reinforcement is required to change behavior.
Some rewards are more effective than others.
The timing of reinforcement affects learning speed and permanence.
Positive reinforcement (giving reward)
Negative Reinforcement – a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior
Punishment , weakens a behavior because a negative condition is introduced or experienced as a consequence of the behavior
Extinction : When a behavior is not reinforced it stops showing.
Our Learning Styles
Do you believe…..
Tell me and I'll forget;
show me and I may remember;
involve me and I'll understand.
Inclination each of us has to perceive, interpret and respond to information in a certain way.
The manner in which you gather information
The way in which you evaluate and act on information
How You Take in Experiences/ Gather Information Learning from specific experiences Logically analyzing ideas Concrete Experience Abstract Conceptualization
How You Deal With Experiences Learning by doing Carefully observing before making judgements Active Experimentation Reflective Observation
Kolb’s Model of Learning Styles
Your Learning Style
May impact choice of decision situation and problem types (e.g. structured vs. unstructured)
May impact how you define a problem (action vs. analysis)
May impact your decision making process
Your Learning Style
Helps you understand
How you solve problems
How you work in teams
How you manage conflict
How you negotiate personal and professional relationships
Kolb’s Cycle of Learning
Scoring Plot for the LSI
Learning Style Types Concrete Experience Abstract Conceptualization Active Experimentation Reflective Observation How you learn How you deal
Imaginative, like to look at problems from different perspectives, inductive thinkers
Tend to be emotional and like to work in groups
Prefer jobs where personal interactions dominate
Best at processing a wide range of information and putting it into a concise, cohesive and logical form
Prefer ideas and concepts to people, like creating models
Prefer jobs requiring information gathering and assimilation (e.g. research and analysis)
Best at finding practical uses for ideas and theories
Problem solvers and decision makers, prefer to deal with technical tasks rather than people issues.
Excel at single answer problems and practical application of ideas
Engineers and technicians
Best at hands on experience/ Getting things done
Enjoy carrying out plans and involving themselves in new and challenging experiences
Risk taking – tend to act on gut feeling rather than logical analysis, tend to excel at entrepreneurial activities
Prefer problem solving by interacting with people rather than systematic analysis
Prefer careers in marketing, sales and managerial roles
Strategies for Developing Learning Style Skills
Develop learning and work relationships with individuals who are strong in learning styles where you are not.
Better fit your learning style strengths to the learning experiences you encounter.
Apply and strengthen learning style skills that are the opposite of your strongest style skills.
How to Strengthen? Style How to Strengthen Assimilation Practice organizing details and analyzing numerical data Converging Practice setting goals and making decisions Accommodating Practice identifying new opportunities and becoming personally involved with people Diverging Practice collecting data and listening with an open mind
Teaching Smart People How to Learn
Realization that most human behavior patterns block learning in an organization
Discussion of why well-educated professionals are prone to these patterns
Analysis of how all companies can improve the ability of their managers and employees to learn
Typical Misunderstanding of Learning
Two mistakes made in the effort of becoming a learning organization:
People define learning too narrowly as mere “Problem Solving”
The common assumption that getting people to learn is largely a matter of motivation
Types of Learning Single Loop Learning Double Loop Learning A thermostat that automatically turns on the heat whenever the temperature in a room drop below 68° A thermostat that could ask: “Why am I set at 68°?” and then explores whether or not some other temperature might more economically achieve the goal of heating the room.
How Professionals Avoid Learning Good at Single Loop Learning not Double Loop Learning “ Put simply, because many professionals are almost always successful at what they do, they rarely experience failure. So whenever their single-loop strategies go wrong, they become defensive, screen out criticism, and put the “blame” on everyone but themselves. In short, their ability to learn shuts down precisely at the moment they need it most themselves.” p. 83
Espoused Theory : How people think they behave
Theory-in-use : How people actually behave
Governing Values of theory-in-use:
To remain in control
To maximize winning and minimize losing
To be as rational as possible
The purpose of all these values is to avoid embarrassment or threat, feeling vulnerable or incompetent
Defensive Reasoning and the Doom Loop
Encourages individuals to keep private the assumptions, inferences, and conclusions that shape their behavior and to avoid testing them in a truly independent, objective fashion.
Performance evaluations are tailor-made to push professionals into the doom loop