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Unlearning is the key to learning

Last night was the last session of my Adult Skating – Level 1 training. Over the last 8 weeks, I had a blast learning the real techniques of hockey skating.

If you think it is unusual for a French-Canadian to learn to skate at this age [no, I’m not disclosing that!], you are probably right. Hockey being our National sport, it would be as surprising as an American who has never played baseball or an Italian who has never played calcio (soccer / European football) or a New Zealander who never played rugby.

It’s not like I never played hockey. Like most kids, I spend many afternoon at the nearest outdoor hockey rink playing with friends. None of us played seriously but we always had a great time. My father also made a skating rink a couple of winter in the back alley for us.

In order to become a good skater, I decided to sign up for these lessons with my cousin and week after week, we were shown the real way to skate – new moves and new tricks. Every week I noticed that I would learn new moves much more quickly than the moves I already knew.

I was chatting with a colleague this morning who shared with me his challenge in teaching development teams the Scrum approach. He said “It’s not so much about learning Scrum, it’s what they have to unlearn”.

It seems the same logic applies to learning to skate and learning about Scrum.

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