Why do most people who post a video of themselves delivering wisdom on LinkedIn, do it in front of a bookcase?
My guess is it’s designed to portray an image of credibility based on knowledge and that got me thinking about the number of books I own that I haven’t finished or even started yet.
I’ll often hear a recommendation on a podcast, Prime it and within 24 hours, I’ve posted a picture of it on social media with a “Thank you Posty!” comment (yep, done that too – more shame). For the next 3 months, it will be sitting proudly gathering dust on top of the five other books I haven’t got anywhere near reading yet!
I’m literally creating a mountain of knowledge which by design, I cannot climb.
But it gets worse…
Not only do the ‘golden nuggets’ that lurk within the pages remain lost, so too is the benefit that I would have received, had I put the knowledge into action. Corporate Johnnies would call that a ‘lose/lose’ situation but perhaps a better way to refer to it is The Knowledge/Action Gap – we know what to do, but we can’t seem to make ourselves do it.
Ironic when you think we’ve never had so much access to so much knowledge than we do today. Each of us is just one google-click away from a full set of ‘expert’ instructions on any subject matter you wish to choose.
Also ironic is the lack of motivation right at the very moment when you need it most! You know the kind of thing; You should haul your sorry backside off the sofa and go to the gym, but you can’t be arsed!
That lethargy, we can pinpoint to psychology and the fact that our brains are ‘hard-wired’ to avoid discomfort. It’s been programmed (by us) to stay away from things we fear and seek out things that are comfortable – like my sofa, large pants and Big Macs. (If you’re interested in this topic, you can read more about ‘Away & To Motivation’ is this post – here).
So how do you stop ‘thinking about changing or improving’ and start doing instead?
Well, you won’t be surprised to discover that the answer lies within each of us. Motivation, is an inside job. And in exactly the same way with ‘finding experts on Google with one click’, we are all only ever one decision away from a completely different life! You hold that responsibility – no one else can do it for you.
Whoa! Hold the bus! We’re going a bit too Tony Robbins here and that wasn’t my intention. And anyway, we want the “How to” and not the “What to do” answer. Implementation not information, you feel me Tony?
Let’s shift away from Kumbaya and look at how Sales Training can help solve the problem with The Knowledge/Action Gap.
Most training workshops are information dumps. They share way too much information with you and make you take tons of notes, so that you’re not only confused due to information overload, you remember precious little a week or so later. Admit it, you’ve wasted days on those courses too!
When seeking out suitable Sales training to improve an area of your sales success strategy, look for providers who not only display what you’ll learn, but how they intend to do that…
If it looks like a Chinese menu with 15 different sales topics, you might want to ask yourself if that’s realistic during the 6 hours you’ll be on their “Advanced Commercial Negotiation & Closing Technique Skills Workshop”.
Less is definitely more when it comes to training success.
The best sales training gives you just enough knowledge to build a skill and then makes sure you acquire it BEFORE you leave the workshop. Look for guarantees on their website or promotional literature and if they don’t have one, ask them how they intend to help you transfer the knowledge into action that will lead to tangible results. And don’t feel embarrassed, a good training provider will welcome this conversation and thank you for it.
I would go further to say that the very best trainers place the responsibility of you learning the skill, with them. Of course you do have to implement what they teach, but they should make the training so relevant and inspirational, that you literally can’t wait to leg it out of the workshop and start doing it!
What about closer to home… how can we apply the same logic to the bookshelf?
Tip: Before you satisfy your emotional buying triggers and order another book from Jeff (Bezos), commit to taking at least one piece of useful and relevant wisdom from one you already own and do something with it.
Action: If you really want to shift from Knowledge to Action, read just four books this year but read each of them three times over. Start with the four books you’ve read before that have had an impact on you. If you’re anything like me, some of those books will have post-it notes and highlighter pen all over them – sign-posts to the ‘gold’.
Outcome: That frequency will at least increase your chances of finishing the book! But more importantly, those golden nuggets will get found and the process of repetition allows you to truly agree they are worth converting into action (or not) and will give you a much better chance of implementing what you’ve learned.
When you reduce knowledge overload and intensify the learning experience, you’ll close The Knowledge/Action Gap.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want more tips like these, head over to the website and check out the free resources page.
About the author: Matt Sykes is founder of Sales Training company Salescadence and author of the book Sales Glue. He works with Growing Businesses to help them logically convert more of their leads into customers.