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Ebbinghaus and Training


Over a century ago, the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus demonstrated – as psychologists and trainers still recognise today – that there is both a ‘learning curve’ and a ‘forgetting curve’ associated with learning.

The upshot of this is that any short-term training course we take will necessarily have only a limited effect. Shortly after we have first taken on the information from the course, we are bound to forget a significant proportion of it.

Therefore, the most effective form of training is ongoing, in which we have the opportunity to put into practice the techniques learned.

This is the approach we take in the Profitable Partnerships Programme – supporting fee earners in acquiring and putting into practice the skills of business development that they will need to win and retain more clients and more work.

Learning and Forgetting

According to Ebbinghaus (as well as modern experts), the sharpest decline in recall comes in the twenty minutes immediately after taking the information on. Forgetting then slows exponentially over the hours and days that follow.

The learning curve is also exponential, and suggests that the most information is retained after it is first put into practice, and subsequent reinforcement helps in retaining further information, but that the returns diminish over time.

The implication is that, if participants actively use the techniques they have learned shortly after learning them, the likelihood of forgetting is reduced. The more that new techniques are practiced and reinforced, the more effective they will be.

Profitable Partnerships

The Profitable Partnerships Programme is about changing behaviour and changing attitudes, in order to foster an environment of success within teams, departments and firms. We use practical exercises to reinforce the learning, and offer ongoing training and support to maximise the benefits from the programme.

Fee earners are encouraged to develop in the following areas:

• Confidence & holding conversations about value

• Developing habits & building trust

• Creating a showcase & using social media

• Niche, Keep in Touch programme & personal business plan

• Value pricing for lawyers

We are confident that by the end of the programme all participants will be managing relationships with more clients, and more profitable clients.

If you would like to have a conversation about how we can help your partnership become more profitable, please email simon.white@wilkinsonread.co.uk.

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