DELIBERATE PRACTICE is the gold standard, the ideal to which anyone learning a skill should aspire. To become excellent, in whatever discipline, requires several thousand hours of practice. There are no shortcuts and no “prodigies” who reached an expert level with relatively little practice. Anyone who wishes to become an expert in their field will need an instructor’s help. In DELIBERATE PRACTICE one is moved just beyond their current skill level, their comfort level, this is where a teacher is necessary. Instant feedback is very important in DELIBERATE PRACTICE. DELIBERATE PRACTICE involves well-defined goals and requires the student’s full attention. DELIBERATE PRACTICE depends on effective MENTAL REPRESENTATIONS. The MENTAL REPRESENTATIONS make it possible to monitor how one is doing both in practice and in actual performance. DELIBERATE PRACTICE nearly always involves building or modifying previously acquired skills by focusing on particular aspects of those skills. The techniques designed to help improve your skills can be a “map” of physical locations. Then by traveling along the route of this map one can arrive at the desired result. It is the quality of MENTAL REPRESENTATIONS that sets apart the best from the rest. Psychology researchers are only now just beginning to explore the role of MENTAL REPRESENTATIONS in understanding why some people perform so much better than others. An effective instructor will understand what must go into a successful training regimen and will modify it as necessary to suit individual students. Becoming accomplished in any field requires a tremendous amount of focused effort exerted over many years. Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule captures a fundamental truth. In any area of human endeavor, people have a tremendous capacity to improve their performance, as long as they train in the right way. How much you improve is up to you. There are no limitations.
The best way to improve performance among people who are already trained and on the job is through DELIBERATE PRACTICE. A mistake in business can cost time, money, and future opportunities. These people can be trained to raise the performance level of the group. The DELIBERATE PRACTICE mindset has to be embraced and get people out of their comfort zones in order to practice new skills and expand their abilities. Feedback is so important. People have to agree that they can shape their own potential. Don’t say “I can’t.” Also it has to be believed that doing the same thing over and over again in exactly the same way is not a recipe for improvement. The DELIBERATE PRACTICE mindset requires the right approach. Businesspeople have to find the time to practice and improve their skills. With DELIBERATE PRACTICE they will leave their comfort zones, they will get instant feedback, they will improve their skills. People are trained in the business world by focusing on knowledge at the expense of skills. The reason is because it is easier to present knowledge to a large group of people than it is to set up conditions under which individuals can develop skills through practice. From the perspective of DELIBERATE PRACTICE, the problem is obvious: attending lectures, mini-courses, and the like offers little or no feedback and little or no chance to try something new, make mistakes, and gradually develop a new skill. Professional schools focus on knowledge rather than skills because it is much easier to teach knowledge and then create tests for it. The best approach will be to develop new skills based training programs that will supplement or completely replace the knowledge-based approaches that are the norm now in many places.
Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.