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    What is the bell curve of training?

    Q: What is the bell curve of training and why does it matter?

    A: Pretty much every skill you have, there's a bell curve.

    So you start off here on the left  where you are unconsciously incompetent, which means you don't know what you don't know, and that's okay because you're just happy not knowing it.

    Next you get exposed to training, and suddenly, you are consciously incompetent. You're like, 'Holy crap, I don't know how to do this. I heard what I'm supposed to do, but I don't quite know it.' That's exposure. That's like, if you heard me in a speech, I expose you to a lot of the information.

    Next, on the other side of that curve, you are consciously competent, which means you are thinking about every step you make. So you are thinking, 'I have to say, 'Good morning, good afternoon, good evening.' I have to do this and this and this.' So you're making the brain, the feet - the machine - work because you're getting it embedded in your head, but you're having to really work at it.

    This is where a lot of people stop and that's bad because they haven't practiced enough to reach the next step.

    The goal of what we want is for the learner to be unconsciously competent, which means I don't have to think about it again. It's the difference between, you seeing Serena Williams play tennis at Wimbledon, and saying, 'Oh, I could be at Wimbledon.'

    No. You understand the game. That doesn't mean you are trained, by any means. Until you actually do the backhand and the serve 100,000 times and it's second nature in your body, you're not trained.

    A lot of people talk about the bell curve in training, because it's natural in every skill we have, but a lot of times, what we think is training is, you've really just exposed them, so now they are consciously incompetent.

    They know what they're not doing but they don't go to the next level, which is to practice and role play to make them consciously competent. Training is something you do, not something you did once.

    You have to keep role-playing and rewarding your learners so they have those quick wins they ultimately become unconsciously competent. They don't have to think about what they are doing because they are so well trained.

    See also, How To Get Employee Sales Training To Stick Like Gum To The Sidewalk On A Hot Summer Day

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