Fluency is, in many ways, another word for mastery of a skill or behavior. Which is, of course, what we want for our learners. But there are a LOT of factors and moving parts that all have to work together to build that fluent behavior and that can be a lot to keep track of as a trainer.
A fluent behavior is one that can be performed with speed, accuracy, and precision, and it is done without hesitation. It’s being able to do the right behavior at the right time, without having to think too much about it.
Fluency is what happens when behaviors are so strong, they happen with very little mental effort on the learner’s part. They can be done without thinking about it. When a behavior is fluent, it is fast, consistent, precise and accurate. It is reliable because it has a VERY high probability of occurring, which means it’s been reinforced a lot.
To build fluency in our behaviors, we need a training plan that accounts for all the factors… precision, speed, distance, distractions, duration, latency, and incorporates all the right cues and eliminates all the wrong ones. That means keeping an eye on the big picture, while simultaneously splitting out all the little pieces to focus on separately. Not an easy task, particularly if it’s a big training project that you are teaching for the first time!
If you are trying to apply this concept to your obedience training, and feel overwhelmed, check out my mentorship program, Zero to CD, where I give you a game plan that accounts for all of these factors and guide you down the path with support and accountability.
Zero to CD