Leadership and Sales Training Going Beyond RLTF Learning Model

Education has created a secondary learning model of Read It, Learn It, Test It and Forget It or RLTF.  This Learning Model has unfortunately expanded its roots into leadership and sales training.


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On a regular basis I receive catalogs from various leadership and sales training companies including associations that offer half day to two day learning engagements to even on-line learning. The investments for these learning events range from $1oo to $2,000.

As an educated instructional designer I know that the majority of these engagements are 100% impact learning without any spaced repetition.  Impact learning is a one time exposure to a learning event with these retention results:

  • 50% 24 hours later
  • 25% 48 hours later
  • 5% or less 16 days later

Spaced repetition as in your arithmetic facts increases cognitive retention six times more (62%) and remembering now is from 15 years to life. Right now you know without even thinking what 5×5 is.  However if I asked you what is 14×18 is, your response would not be nearly as quick.

Another aspect of the RLTF Learning Model is application or practice.  Unless we apply what we learn and continue to apply that knowledge, we forget it.  How many individuals in the US had a foreign language in high school and college and now later as an adult can’t speak that language?

Possibly the most damaging consequence of RLTF Learning Model is it focuses 100% on knowledge and skills while ignoring attitudes and habits.  Knowledge and skills reside within the analytical part of the brain. However human beings, for the most part, are emotional creatures first.  Their attitudes and habits determine their behaviors.  As my husband has said:

“It is not a question of do I know it, but do I want to do it?

If I want to do it, I will learn how to do it.”

By its very nature, the RLTF Learning Model has a very low return on investment (ROI) because of impact learning.  This is why some more forward thinking SMBs are now following in the footsteps of larger firms by investing in one on one executive leadership and sales coaching. Of course there are plenty of SMBs that still believe in the RLTF Learning Model because it is the quick fix.  Unfortunately as noted in the movie “The Executive Suite,” the quick fix:

“…is just a loss of faith in the future.”

If your SMB wants a positive return on investment for its leadership and sales training then make sure it goes beyond impact learning and truly provides numerous opportunities for long term cognitive retention.

Liked what you read? Then CLICK HERE to reserve your 30 minute conversation with Leanne Hoagland-Smith

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver for leaders who desire a Forward Thinking Sales Culture. She supports executive leadership in bridging the sales culture gap of people and processes that restricts SMB sales results. If you want to increase sales, then call Leanne at central time USA to solve your disengaged employees and ultimately your disengaged sales culture as well as improve your own sales results. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.


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