What to expect from learners in disorientation

The other night in coach training we talked a lot about cognitive load and all the things to attend to in the work of coaching- attending to the client, preparing the next question to dig deeper, recalling the overarching coaching goals, watching the time, checking body language, checking your own gut about what needs to happen next, etc. Also how fatigue impacts perception of cognitive load and compromises decision -making at a certain point.

The cognitive load is a significant piece of interpreting and decision-making. Over the years I have referred to it as one’s channel and that it is indeed finite- and if we are expending a bunch of energy doing x, we don’t have it for y. So, for example, in the transition from ASL student to interpreting student, the cognitive load and energy is going to re-allocated to learning the new thing – the meaning making and the equivalency piece. Less energy is going to go into production, retrieval, or even learning new, more sophisticated language. Thus, externally, you will look like you have “lost” your ASL or other skills/knowledge, when it fact, that is not the case – it has been de-prioritized for a time because you don’t have infinite energy to spend, so you have to conserve somewhere. It is still in there and it will re-emerge as the new things take up less of your cognitive load because the become more automatized.

In this time of disorientation, we can expected an even more exaggerated J curve, I would suspect.

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