There are some words thrown about nowadays that take on a life of their own, independent of the meanings, symbolism and accepted traditional understandings. Before we get into today’s topic, let’s provide some examples of these words;
There are many more, but our focus today is the last one on this list, training. The aim of this piece is to explore the term ‘training’ and its;
- Implied meaning
- Classical / Traditional meaning
- Linked meaning (contemporary context)
- Changing Meaning
Use of the word training implies various and some diverse meanings. These end up creating a vacuum between the word and the symbolism attached to the implications. The vacuum is created because of the nature of the implied meanings. Let’s break some of these down;
- Training implies some form of action
- Training implies some form of routine
- Training implies some form or organised behaviour
- Training implies some form of outcome
It can appear, as a result of these implied meanings, that training is therefore always associated with action and outcome by way of routine or organised behaviour. Is there not any challenge to these implied meanings or some other way of understanding the word?
Classical / Traditional Meaning
The most obvious association between the word training and historical developments of its meaning are linked to;
- Skill Development
- Craft and Trade
With the decline of manufacturing and industrial societies, the emphasis on learning has remained but it has also shifted slightly to the realm of ‘development’, especially as a result of the rise in the schools of psychology, sociology and social theory. The emergence of ‘self-enquiry’ and understanding human behaviour has led to more and more ‘shift’ in the meanings of the word training. It now houses both cognitive and behavioural elements of meaning to its overall understanding. The focus is now more on the role of training as a developmental and assessment tool and less on the classic model of training being something that is imparted. It is now something associated with intention, motivation, behaviour and context. It is more about understanding than it is about learning.
In contemporary society and the age of ‘digital reality’, the meaning behind the term training has shifted even further to include;
- Any action that suggests (however slightly) that one is doing something new
- This does not include explicitly the idea that the ‘doing’ is linked to ‘learning’
- The muddy terrain in between projection and reality means the understanding of the word is now open to the context it is used in and not the meaning given to it form its origins (opening a social media account can be called ‘training’ and so can what a professional athlete does on daily basis)
It is clear therefore, that the word training has changed, evolved and even mutated. What is means has become a more individualised and intention heavy practice. Almost anything can be classified as ‘training’ if someone is able to provide an account from a point of inception to the point of outcome (start/ end).
Well…what do we do now?
I’d like to throw my ten pence into the ring.
‘Training is about any thought, intention or action that either improves, assists or provides a different way to approach an issue.’
To train is to embark and to learn is to know that we never really and truly disembark from the journey once we start it.
Training is therefore away to learn. It can be anything and somewhat surreally, nothing.
#training #performance #lifecoaching #personaldevelopment