Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

As we wrap up our month of focus on ORBiT, we will end with the importance of the last step, Cycle. We have all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.” What does that mean? It means the more you do something, the better you will get at that skill. I think there’s more to it than that. If somebody practices a skill poorly or without proper feedback, what are they really improving? If anything, they are reinforcing bad habits and behaviors that they will likely keep until given some direction. With that in mind, I believe the phrase should be “Perfect practice makes perfect.” If you are practicing a skill, you should be doing it correctly with an expert there to tell you how you are doing and how to improve. That is the secret to Cycle. We want to give the trainee the chance to hone their skills in a safe environment. When done right, a trainer will observe and provide insights into where the trainee can improve. The best way to think about Cycle is that you are simulating several real-life examples that the trainee can practice without the fear of making mistakes with a customer. The more opportunities you give a trainee to practice different examples, the more comfortable they will be to handle different situations with real customers. 


During Cycle, you will have the trainee demonstrate the skill again and have the trainer give feedback again. If the trainer sees that the trainee is doing well and “getting it,” then they can change the scenario by playing a more difficult customer or interacting with a different product. On the other hand, if the trainee is struggling with the original scenario, then the trainer should not change the simulation and instead let them practice in the original situation to get comfortable with the skill. The trainer should continue cycling until their time is up and they feel satisfied with the skill level of their trainee. 


We have covered every step of ORBiT this month, and I hope you have learned a lot through the process. I advise getting out there and practicing training people as much as possible. Take ten minutes to train somebody on anything to get the ball rolling. If you want a more in-depth take on ORBiT, you can get the book written by Dan Mann. It is available online, both as a physical copy and as an audiobook.


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