What is Spaced Training and Why is it So Important?

Jan 29, 2020

One Floyd's many memorable quotes is, "Education without application is worse than worthless."


Why is it worse than worthless? Because you not only don't learn, you also waste your time.


My first job in the real estate sales training business was teaching a 5 day program, Monday through Friday, 9AM – 4PM. I loved training and Ioved the students, most of them eager new licensees, and by Friday afternoon each week I felt like we had really bonded. 


What I failed to notice was that most of them had checked out mentally by mid-morning on Wednesday. That was when I learned the truth of another famous Wickmanism, "You can teach a person too much all at once, and they miss the whole point."


Even though our company sponsored monthly awards rallies, I rarely saw any of the students again. There were exceptions, an occasional agent who stuck with it and prospered and proudly got up month after month to get awards. But they were the exception, not the rule.


The material I was teaching was well written, well thought out, and fun to teach, but it was missing a vital ingredient – time for the students to apply what they were learning.


Floyd had a similar experience as a real estate trainer for a national franchise. He created a wonderful 5 day training program, but it, too, was missing that important ingredient.


He invented "spaced training" almost by accident. Maybe you've heard the story of his first experimental program. He had volunteered to help a group of 23 agents who were struggling to succeed in a very tough market. But he had a full time speaking career. Most weeks, he would leave home Monday, fly all over North America speaking to real estate audiences, and get home Friday. That left Saturday mornings as the only available time to help his experimental group.


He began most Saturday sessions by asking the group what problems they had experienced when applying what he had taught the previous Saturday. "What a coincidence!" Floyd would say. "That's exactly what we're covering today."


Isn't that brilliant? Teach a student how to do the first thing they need to be successful, and then give them a week to go out and get "experience." When they come back a week later with experience, you can teach at a higher level. Every week becomes a revelation for the students. Every week Floyd heard, "Gee, I wish I would have had this last week."


And that response, "Gee . . ." is the essence of learning, and the principle behind the effectiveness of spaced training.


With today's 10 minute attention span, sitting in a classroom day after day is nearly unthinkable. If you have a sizable curriculum to cover, break it into digestible chunks and space out the sessions. Giving students time to apply what they become aware of in the classroom is the Wickman way to insure results through training.


Floyd's discovery of spaced training revolutionized real estate sales training, and the results it achieves has led most companies and trainers today to adopt it as the norm. Thanks, Floyd!


The Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin 

Celebrating 40 years of results with The Floyd Wickman Program

"An average of one listing or sale per person per week!"

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