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Talent Retention Strategies

Effective Comprehension

Before you can memorize a skill, you have to understand it. If you don’t entirely comprehend the concept or skill you’re learning about, you can’t expect your brain to file it away in your long term memory. If you’ve already attended leadership development training but don’t quite understand all of the concepts, attend another seminar or program until you fully grasp the concepts that are being demonstrated and taught.

Only after you have mastered comprehension of a new skill can you begin to use other strategies that enable you to cement the ideas and skills in your mind so that you can use them every day for the rest of your life. Think about your schooling. Did your instructors teach you a new concept one day and then move on to another the next? No. They took weeks to teach a new concept so that their students fully grasped the new material. Best education practices say that it takes 10 days to teach a new concept in order for students to really memorize things. Think about this the next time you attend a weekend leadership or negotiation course.


Picture yourself employing the new skills and concepts you’ve learned during your leadership development training. Don’t think that the new skills you’ve learned will apply to your next job or a few years down the line. It can be applied right now, but you have to envision yourself employing the skills. Think through your daily routine and anticipate the times when you can use the skills you’ve acquired. Visualize conversations you’ll have throughout the day and take time even at work to remind yourself that you can employ leadership, influence, and negotiation strategies at any moment.

Learning a skill and being consciously aware of your power to use that skill are vastly different from each other. For example, you can go through life knowing you have the knowledge of how to cook, but if you fall back on old routines and just decide to order pizza for every meal you’re not utilizing your full potential and you’re not visualizing the meals you could have if you simply applied your knowledge.

Understand How You Learn Best

Effective teachers know that not all students learn the same way, and effective business men and women also need to understand this in order to thrive. At your management training seminars, you were probably instructed in a few different ways including lecture, group activities, and independent study times. Did one of these especially click for you, or were you previously aware of your optimal learning methods? Understanding how you learn best will help you when you try to study the things you’ve learned or when you try to practice your new skills.

If you learn best during lectures, look up online continuing education videos or podcasts to activate your prior knowledge. If you learn best in a group setting or by teaching others what you’ve learned, get some of your colleagues together and share what you learned at the seminar. The point is to always keep learning and if you know what learning strategies work best for you, your chances of remembering the information and skills will increase.