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Conquering the Ebbinghaus curve of forgetting

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

#TLDR: By nature, we forget most of what we learn in the immediate days/weeks since the learning. #PBJAM can help you!

The famous Herman Ebbinghaus curve of forgetting is an intriguing experiment on human memory and learning from the 1880s. In the modern workplace, as Alvin Toffler stated in his book "The Third Wave", there is a huge incentive to unlearn the old and learn the new.

This makes learning capabilities even more critical than in earlier times! But, our attention spans are being spread thin with the advent of social media and 24x7 connectivity. In such times, what tools can help us to achieve both, quick learning and retention of knowledge?

At #PBJAM, we see that there are two aspects to this challenge. The first one is about the content, namely, what is it that we are trying to learn and remember. We see that soft skills knowledge if provided as slides or seminars or workshops (basically 1-time delivery or short-term delivery), tends to be forgotten quite quickly (typically within weeks to months), while hard skills knowledge provided in the same format sticks longer (many times for years).

The reason is that hard skills have tangible, daily applications for direct work. Soft skills on the other hand tend to be hard to change based on tools and written know-how. Soft skills need continued practice, feedback, and measurements. Naturally, all of these requirements consume the precious mental bandwidth of learners and their leaders. And as we all know, these days, companies may have money but hardly any company has the free mental bandwidth of their people.

The second aspect is the framework of how the learning is happening. Without regular follow-ups, tangible outcomes, and continued accountability, it is hard for soft skills to be learned, practiced, and improved upon. Hence, the proverbial phrase "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" that we hear during talent review meetings.

#PBJAM addresses these both aspects very deftly using science and technology. As you experience our 12-week "Better You!" program, you will realize that

  • Learning is effortless and natural,

  • Follow-ups are routine, quick, and effective, and

  • Feedback is tangible and measurable

Essentially, #PBJAM takes away the need to retain and instead focuses on purposeful, sustainable yet easy actions (SMART-steps) and mutual accountability through small group settings.

Though we offer lots of scientific insights and structures, the content is always centered on participants' individual challenges and roadblocks. This laser-sharp focus on "what's in it for me?" in every session helps our participants to stay engaged with the learning and change process (it is also easy on our brains as per neuroscience and behavioral psychology).

With #PBJAM, you will not conquer the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, but you will build mechanisms to make the forgetting curve less important in your daily effectiveness as a professional in the modern workplace.

Try it out yourself by talking to your manager and HR about participating in our 12-week "Better You!" program.

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