If you’re trying to learn new information, or teach it to others, find what in it is familiar and build the teaching around those recognizable chunks.

According to new research completed by Carnegie Mellon University psychologists, it’s actually easier to learn new facts if they also contain familiar components. In the workplace, these findings may hold important implications for how new procedures and processes are taught, and how change of all kinds is implemented and managed.

As you design and prepare to roll out a new process, look for the ways in which the new process is similar to the existing one. Structure the training so that the familiar is emphasized as you add the new. When instituting change, highlight the ways in which the new concepts and approaches are similar to or builds on what was. Use the research on brain science to optimize learning and acceptance. Connection to the familiar fosters comfort.

 

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