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You may have heard the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ or the improved ‘perfect practice makes perfect’. Neither phrase, however, quite captures the complexities behind practice. For example, one way improve your tennis game is to just go out and play tennis - or multiple games over and over. This sort of general practice certainly has some benefit but ultimately will lead to skills that plateau quite quickly. No successful coach would tolerate this type of regular practice.
The best coaches know they must maximize the impact of practice, no matter the skill. Here are three key components of deliberate practice that you can employ when creating your HireVue Coach sessions.
Rather than play a game of tennis, break it down into multiple skills such as a serve, backhand, lob, or volley. You can do this with soft skills too-- for example, breaking down delivery of a new product message into specific sections such as introducing the product, asking questions about customer need, demonstrating product functionality, etc. Within HireVue Coach, we suggest breaking down skills into component parts and deliver smaller programs more often, rather than longer programs that try to cover entire skill sets.
Feedback is a critical component of deliberate practice. If you serve tennis balls all day with no feedback on your stroke, how do you know what else to do in order to keep improving? Managers or other experts can provide feedback in HireVue Coach -- be sure to provide coaches with information on the specific intent of the program so that their feedback can be tailored to the specific skill at hand. You can also guide the participant to coach themselves through best practice videos and reflection on their performance.
It’s silly to think that one session of practice provides skill mastery. Clearly a tennis pro practices serving over a period of years to reach the highest level of competition. Similarly, no business professional can be expected to have a skill mastered after completing a single practice session. Within HireVue Coach, consider developing multiple programs for the most important skills. These programs have the same focus and build on each other to develop true mastery in one specific area.
If the notion of deliberate practice has captured your interest and you’d like to learn more. We highly recommend the following three resources (in the order listed):