Hard Skills and Expertise
With hard skills, you have to digest technical or academic knowledge to garner expertise. If these skills are needed immediately, on-the-job training may be the best option. This is where our short-term memory comes in. We engage our prefrontal cortexes and favor rule-driven learning with simple, consistent messages that we can quickly put into action. The best approach here is to use microlearning so we can glean the information we need when we need it.
Soft Skills and Social Awareness
To transform people’s behavior, soft skills must be taught in a specific way. Learners have to work on their reflexes and their ability to adapt to different environments and situations that require a variety of responses. This is why we mainly look to address social skills. The best approach here is discovery learning, in which you learn through trial and error. Role-playing and feedback from your peers, your trainer and management are key to making change happen. The mental gymnastics involved helps engage subcortical structures and stimulate dopaminergic pathways, optimizing the learning process. Here, the best strategy is to schedule lengthy courses incorporating various teaching activities: that’s the concept of macrolearning.