Some skills seem quite difficult to learn.  However, learning is much easier when the right structures are applied.  One of these powerful learning structures is the drip-drip approach.


Night-blooming cereus

On Friday, June 12, 2015 over 1500 people came to a private garden in Tucson, Arizona. It was early evening.  They had been alerted that a rare event was about to occur. The audience stood and watched for hours. Then it happened.

Thousands of cereus flowers opened their ethereal, star-like blossoms all at once. The sight was stunning. This simultaneous blooming happens just once a year.

But why do these flowers open at the same time?

The answer: It is to increase the chances that hawkmoths will arrive and pollinate the flowers. This plant has survived the desert for millions of years, so this approach clearly works for the cereus flowers.

Yet for us, when it comes to learning, things are quite the opposite.

The fewer opportunities we have to practice the less likely we’ll accomplish anything. In fact, daily practice is required for us to reach our full potential and truly blossom.  That’s why nearly all our courses at TLI make use of daily practice also known as the drip-drip approach.

What is the drip-drip approach?

It involves practicing a skill in tiny increments at least five days a week.  These daily drips turn knowledge into habits that you can perform without having to think too much. You gain the ability to act with fluency, automatically, without having to push. With the right kind of effort, a new skill can become as easy as speaking or walking.

How is the drip-drip approach used in Lefkoe Institute courses?

Last year (2019), we took three of our Lefkoe Method Training courses and converted the exercises from weekly submissions to daily practice with feedback. The results were quite astonishing. As different as a black and white TV compared to High Definition color.

The participants became more confident. They became far more creative. They became even more responsive to their clients than any crop of trainees we’ve taught in the past.

We changed more than one thing about the courses but daily practice and feedback has made the most difference.

There are three reasons for this transformation.

1) Immediate correction of mistakes

2) Greater quantity of mistakes

3) Daily reflection

1) Immediate correction of mistakes

When a participant makes an error, they don’t have to wait a week to discover the error. They find out, usually within a few hours, then they correct that mistake.

2) The quantity of mistakes rises

Because practice is daily, participants make far more mistakes than in the past. As a result, they learn far more quickly. Because each error is corrected rapidly, the participants build effective habits. They know the mistake and they get far more practice doing what works better instead.

3) Regular reflection deepens learning

Participants are required to reflect on their work regularly. As they do this, their learning deepens. They figure out which of their strategies help them the most, which help the least and which should be discarded all together. They gain the confidence that they can figure things out by asking questions, experimenting for answers and reflecting on the results.

Daily practice proved valuable in teaching a skill that requires both art and science – The Lefkoe Stimulus Process.  This process helps people neutralize triggers for emotions that are left over after beliefs are eliminated.  The science is that once you discover a trigger for an emotion, you can neutralize it within minutes.  The art is figuring out when to muse it.

What we realized during the course is that it wasn’t clear how to distinguish triggers for fear that have been conditioned from triggers for fear that came from beliefs.

However, each participant noticed the confusion, kept practicing, then reflecting on their practice. Eventually, they each got a feel for finding emotion triggers, even though none of them can fully explain how they know one when they see it. They just do.

They developed a kind of sixth sense

By the end everything started to just fall into place for them. This happened because every time they tried something and it didn’t work, we worked to help them know what to do next time. Then they’d practice again but better. And next time even better.

All the while they were getting feedback and reflecting on what they were doing. They became highly proficient in just a few weeks. This rapid increase in ability would not have happened if they only had one or two opportunities to learn per week. They had dozens of these daily learning experiences throughout the course.

Yes, this is quite a bit of work for both the participants and the teacher

And I would add it’s totally worth it. This is why we will never go back to the weekly assignment model. It was too slow and didn’t lead to the amazing results we’ve seen with our participants in 2019.

After reading this, you may want to try using daily practice to deepen skills in some area of your life or your work. If so, keep the following in mind.

One key mistake is to practice without feedback

If you practice and no one ever sees your work, you could be making the same mistakes over and over and building ineffective habits. However, if you get feedback you can make corrections and if you forget an insight, you’ll get more feedback to make the correction again. Eventually, using a skill in a more effective way will become your new normal.

The second mistake is to practice without reflection

Why? Because even when you do something well, without reflection, you can miss out on discovering how you produced effective results. As a result, the next time you face a similar challenge, you may not remember how you did it. When we have participants reflect daily, we discover that they find solutions to problems on their own much of the time and they end up naming their own strategies. That wouldn’t happen if they didn’t reflect on what they did every day.

But who has the time?

This is the rub isn’t it? It does take some time. We all have duties and responsibilities that take up much of our days. And in our free time, we may need rest, relaxation and entertainment. There is almost always a window of time though, in which you can practice a new skill daily, however small. If you commit to the process of learning, you will eventually find that window and make use of it.

Summary

  • The daily practice approach involves committing to practice a skill daily to achieve greater levels of mastery over time.
  • It’s power is in turning knowledge into skill and habits you can depend on. You can stop having to think so hard about what you’re doing and rely more and more on instinct.
  • We use it in the Lefkoe Institute’s courses because it allows us to accelerate the learning process through three mechanisms: a larger quantity of mistakes, immediate correction of mistakes and reflection on progress.
  • If you decide to engage in daily practice, make sure to find a way to get feedback and reflect on your learning daily.
  • It can be hard to find the time to deepen learning through daily practice, but it’s usually possible to find a consistent window of time if you are committed.

Remember the cereus flowers?

They bloom in unity due to instructions buried deep in their DNA. When you practice a skill daily and get feedback, it starts to feel like that skill has become etched into your genetics as well. It feels natural. Like second nature. And once a skill is that deeply embedded it is usually a skill for life. So if you have a skill you want to learn, I encourage you to find a way to make it into a daily practice. If you do, you will find that weeks and months down the road you have achieved far greater mastery than you would have expected.

Next step

The power to eliminate beliefs in 30 minutes

In 9 weeks, you can gain the power to eliminate a belief in the time it takes to watch a sitcom. And as you know from reading the article above, this level of fluency takes daily practice and reflection. We offer that kind of practice in our Lefkoe Method Training 1.

Not only do we give you practice and reflection but we also give you the chance to learn in groups. This creates an energy that makes the entire learning process a lot more engaging. If you want to have this kind of learning experience, you’ll have to join the waiting list. To do so click here.