"Simply hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate [useful] practice, which is why most golfers don't get better.
"Hitting an eight-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80 percent of the time, continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day - that's deliberate [useful] practice."
From: Greg Colvin, Fortune, What it takes to be great
You take a recruiter training seminar. The teacher tells you that there is a good way to approach someone you don't know when you are calling her on the phone for the first time.
Are you going to be able to go home and use that right away? Probably not. You have to practice using it to be able to do it well. That means doing it a million times.
But, according to the principles of Deliberate Practice, that's not enough. You have to break the call into its component parts and focus on practicing each one individually.
Let's say that there is a pause built into your initial phone gambit.
The trainer says, "Ask her this question then say nothing. If the candidate does not respond, wait until he does." Now, let's say that this show-down makes you uncomfortable. It seems rude.
You called a stranger and now you are trying to corner him into answering a question he might not want to answer. You aren't going to do that or you won't do it well.
In addition to all the words you are saying, that pause has to be practiced regularly. So when you are delivering your message, you don't try to improve everything at once. You just focus on that pause.
When you can do that well, you can move onto another part of the presentation.
Tips on Useful Practice: Derived From: Greg Colvin, Fortune, What it takes to be great.
1. Approach the action with the explicit goal of doing it better. Just a little better now. A lot better over time.
2. As you do the action, ask yourself: Why am I doing it this way?
3. Get feedback on your performance (from multiple sources). Make changes to improve.
4. Build mental models of anything you are interested in. It could be your industry, company, career. Add more elements to the picture over time.
You will have a better idea of your path forward: where you have to go and what you have to do to get there.
5. Occasional practice does not work.