As a trainer, this is vital to remember:
“Reading and listening are often important steps in learning. Without having any instruction, pure practice is little more than trial-and-error. The fact that we can learn from instruction and observation is one of the greatest powers we have as a species.
The mistake, however, is in assuming that most of the “work” that is done to create skill, knowledge and understanding, occurs as it is being passively absorbed. Instead, this view should be flipped, with trying to recall, apply and practice what has been learned being the place where skill building occurs.”
When I was a fulltime trainer, I always, always encouraged my students to go back and actually use the tools after class. We always gave them a chance to use them during class, so that they could do more than listen and watch, and that was important, but if they really wanted it to stick, they needed to practice after class too. They needed to build the muscle memory, and explore the tools more to really put it to good use and develop skill with it.
Also, when we were in class for 2, 3 or more days, the one way I knew someone was getting it was when they did start to apply what we were learning. Nothing makes it clear that the theory we are going through in the classroom is sinking in like having students start a discussion about applying what they are learning to their real-world scenarios.
Once a class started doing that, I knew they were going to be successful in developing their skills. They’ve already moved into “practice” mode.
So yes, by all means go to a training class, or watch a webinar, or watch online training sessions. But then, go use the tools. That’s when it starts to all come together.