One way to improve results: The Forgetting Curve

 Profile image of Corine Hines From Spring Leadership

Corine Hines

Back in 2010, when I was just starting my coaching journey, I began seeing how powerful the process was for individuals. I’ve worked with all types of leaders and managers, from underrated heads of finance and recently recruited high potentials, to directors that were heading for burn out.  Watching them grow, develop better habits and improve their relationships, was incredible. But I was itching to have more impact on the wider business.

Personal transformations are amazing – but I knew that high performing teams aren’t created because one person transforms themselves.

Over the years we’ve developed an approach that helps individuals and teams make huge leaps forward – transformations that set them up for future success, which make a significant difference to them personally and to the bottom line.

Our techniques change businesses for the better. And it’s an absolute privilege to be involved.

In my twenties I wanted to make a difference.

I was working towards my Ju Jitsu black belt and started teaching self-protection classes.

I talked about self-awareness and that if they were going to fight back, they should never punch with their fist (think punching a brick wall). So they slammed their open hands & elbows into the pads and channelled their inner warrior.

But when I reflect back, all I can think of is Hermann Ebbinghaus.

He was a German psychologist who wanted to understand why we forget things and how to prevent it. His research produced the Forgetting Curve – a visual representation of the way that learned information fades over time.


What are the chances any of these people could put any of it into action in 2022? Or a week later for that mattter.

I’d have had more impact working with boys in school to prevent violence against women (but that’s another story!)

And I’m certain you’ve struggled to remember a handy framework or fancy coaching question when you’ve most needed it. We all have.

But imagine the difference you could make if you retained and put into action more of what you learned?

All those podcasts and books and seminars with brilliant ideas – yet so few of them actually get implemented. And, of course, you don’t get results from ideas you don’t implement, no matter how brilliant.

The key to combatting the forgetting curve seems simple: Review the learning, reflect on its application and put it into practice as often as possible.

But the secret is to incorporate it into your everyday life and find excuses to use your learning as soon as possible.

⭐ How about trying to explain a new framework or technique to somebody else. That way, you’ll deepen your understanding AND spread the knowledge that bit further.

What business book are you reading or podcast are you tuning into that could transform how you work? (If you could only remember what it said!)

P.s A good way to start might be to make sure you remember this tip on remembering by explaining the forgetting curve to someone in your team!