Where is the training sweet spot? Often educators and trainers seek to maximize the speed at which employees gain new knowledge and skills yet struggle finding the balance between training that is too easy or too difficult. However, a newly released study (link) suggests that people learn best when they engage in activities at the edge of their competency level. Specifically, it appears that individuals gain knowledge faster when they fail at practice-tasks about 15% of the time. The researchers describe this as The 85% Rule, such that individuals should only be able to succeed at training tasks 85% of the time. They relate this idea to “Flow” which occurs when individuals are not overly stressed by the stimuli, nor are they bored. Adjusting learning activities to maintain the 85% rule may be a great way for trainers to make the most effective use of training time within organizations.