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Theory and Practice

Theory and Practice

Theory and Practice

There is a link between theory and practice.

  • A proper theory without application is useless.
  • Practical action without the guidance of a proper theory, is inefficient and likely to fail.

Personal Effectiveness : Theory and Practice

To act efficiently, you need to combine a proper theory with intelligent practice.

Some progress can be made by simple trial and error, but this method is hit and miss, and the painful losses caused by the "misses" can be too much to bear.

Instead of using trial and error, you should use theory combined with practical application.

What is a proper theory?

A theory is a set of abstract principles, that are either a true description of reality and / or a guide to successful action.

A proper theory is one that can do three things:

  1. Explain.
  2. Predict.
  3. Prescribe.

Proper theories have an explanatory function.

If a theory is a proper theory, then it has the capacity to explain every observed fact. Every observation or measurement can be integrated into the theory without contradiction.

Proper theories have a predictive function.

If a theory is a proper theory, it will be capable of prediction. Using the theory of mechanics, you will be able to predict the load a bridge can take safety. Using the theory of chemistry, you can predict whether a certain combination of compounds may be explosive or not.

There is a prescriptive function of a theory.

If a theory is a proper theory, then it can tell you what to do, or avoid doing, to achieve a certain goal.

For example, if your goal is to cook food safely, then Pasteur's germ theory suggests a whole host of rules that must be applied, if you are to ensure that your meals do not contain dangerous bacteria.

Proper theory + intelligent practice = Successful action.

When you are in possession of a proper theory, one which explains, predicts and prescribes, then situations that seemed confusing suddenly make sense, and what seemed obscure, suddenly becomes obvious.

When you have a proper theory, and when you properly apply the theory, then your resultant progress will be immediate, continuous and spectacular.

Putting theory into practice

If you want to be a more successful leader manager, then we recommend you attend our Leadership and Management training course, where you will learn both the theory and practice of effective leadership.

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Further Reading in Personal Effectiveness

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  • Theory and Practice
    You can make some progress using trial and error, but it can be fraught with danger. To achieve a more reliable outcome, it is far better to use a proper theory and intelligent practice. So what is a proper theory?
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