Tag: learning

Continuous Learning (Part 3 of 3)

Do not dare to miss out the wonderful first and second part.

 

Continuation:

 

Remain curious

One of the most powerful learning questions we use is “Why?” Why is the question of the curious. Continuous learners remain curious about people, places, important and mundane things as well.

They are adding to their knowledge and perspective by cultivating their curiosity. They also do an exercise to important part of our learning brain at the same time.

Learn in multiple ways

In school we learned in a limited number of ways. Unfortunately it leaves some people with a limited view of learning. Continuous learners know that they can learn by reading, by listening, by trying, through others, with a mentor, etc.

Teach others

Something magical happens when you teach someone something – you suddenly understand it better yourself. Continuous learners teach others. Not just to help the other person. Nor to show them how much they know. But mainly because they know it helps them deepen their mastery of their own learning.

How to Use This List

Now that you have read this far I hope you are convinced of how valuable it can be to be a more active learner. You have also read a list of characteristics. Now that you have read that list of characteristics, I’d like you to read it again. As you read it ask yourself these questions:

  1. How well do I stack up against these behaviors?
  2. Which ones would I like to get better at?
  3. Who do I know that is exceptionally good at each of these characteristics?
  4. How can I learn these traits and habits from those I know who are better at them than I?

Your answers to these four questions and the action that you take will put you on the road to being a more continuous and life-long learner.

Enjoy your journey.

 

— end —

Advertisements

Continuous Learning (Part 2 of 3)

Do not miss out the magnificent first part.

 

Continuation:

If lifelong learning doesn’t necessarily mean the professional college student. If it doesn’t require us to be the person who was always asking questions in every class we ever attended. Then what are the behaviors that make up a true continuous or lifelong learner?

The Behaviors

There are some common threads among those who actively are learning and growing as professionals (and humans). Life-long, continuous learners:

Have a beginner’s mindset

If you approach anything with the mindset of an expert, you will learn nothing. With the expert’s mind, you are looking for confirmation and validation of what you already know.

A beginner on the other hand, looks constantly for one new tidbit. Or maybe one or more ways to expand on their current expertise. In other words, expert or not, they don’t think that way. They know that only with an open, beginners mind, can they benefit from the learning opportunity.

Make connections

“To make knowledge productive we will have to learn to see both forest and tree. We will have to learn to connect.”

 – Peter Drucker, famous and influential management thinker

Continuous learners do that. They continue to think about what they have learned in one part of their life. On how it relates to and connects with challenges, problems, opportunities and situations that occur in other parts of their life.

Be flexible and adaptable

Learning requires change. Continuous learners realize that they must be willing to adapt and change if they want to grow.

Always learning something new

Continuous learners learn new things “just because.” They’ve always wanted to play guitar, so they take lessons. They want to ride a unicycle, so they try it and learn how to quilt.

They learn a new language. People don’t invest the time required just so they can play “Bohemian Rhapsody” or say “good morning” in Chinese. They also do it because they realize that our brains are like muscles. The more we exercise them the stronger they will be.

 

Continue reading the last part.

Continuous Learning (Part 1 of 3)

Learn is define as to gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in something by study, experience, or being taught. It is vital to our survival. Inability to learn is fatal

When people ask me what business I’m in, I often say, “I’m in the learning business.” It sounds intriguing, and it is certainly true. But, truth be told, we are all in the learning business.

Why?

Because as humans, we are learning machines. We are most alive and functioning closest to our potential when we are learning, adapting, adjusting, and finding new ways. As well as approaches and techniques to improve our lives or others in some way.

I believe in the above statements. They are as true as any other statement I could write here. But rather than talking about the philosophy of humankind, let me get much more pragmatic.

Change and Learning

Change is all around us. Some say the rate of change is increasing. True or not, this is definitely a fact in our business lives. Products change, Customers change, process and policies change. We are put on a new team, we are entering new markets, and we have set new goals. In all parts of our daily professional lives change surrounds us.

In order for us to cope with that change, we need to be willing and able to change. And learning is a key component in developing that ability.

So when I talk about continuous learning or life long learning, I’m not suggesting everyone needs to take a course at their local college, or go back to school for a new degree.

Continuous learning is an attitude and a set of behaviors. It allow us to succeed in our ever-changing environment. I can say the best turning point who we are today into who we want to be tomorrow. Change requires learning and conversely, there is no learning without change.

 

Continue reading the second part and the last part.

Life – A Quest (Part 2 of 2)

 

Do not miss out the first part. Read it here.

 

Develop:

Nothing is good or bad unless we compare. This comparison could be a good beginning. You learn about yourself but develop based on the comparison with your surroundings. You may be good but you can only feel it if you know what ‘bad’ is all about.

Many people learn and understand but few try to develop. For example you learn that your patience and tolerance level is an issue. The question remains are, you taking actions to enhance these qualities within yourself. If you are making a conscious effort to do so you are developing. Development is when as opposed to ignoring it you do something to improve it.

Grow:

You learn about who you are and develop based on the comparisons you make. The next step is growing yourself – including development as part of your system.

Do at least one thing a day, which makes you feel uncomfortable. Push yourself; you will be amazed how far you can go. Remember: on the other side of fear is freedom. To remain stagnant is not to grow. To reach your full potential, you must rise above the fray and soar like an eagle.

Mature:

The final stage of life is to apply what we have gained, in a timely manner. Life teaches that there are no rights and wrongs. There is heavy dependence on situation, circumstances, ulterior motives and many more dynamics. If you have truly learnt about yourself, developed your strengths, grown your capacity, it is time to apply. The way with which you apply is maturity. By now you would have learnt that not everything is to be used in all situations. You would have discovered that anger is as critical as patience.

To sum it all the quest of life must be to Learn, Develop, Grow and Mature, the rest are indicators of performance. If you have truly “LDGM”, leaving a legacy is inevitable. Good work and intent spreads – irrespective.

Here is an interesting quotation that will hopefully leave a quest in your mind from American Author Leo C. Rosten (1908-1977):

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.  It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” Continue reading “Life – A Quest (Part 2 of 2)”

Life – A Quest (Part 1 of 2)

 

“Limited time. Continuous journey.” This is how one participant of my recent session defined life. The thought is profound; it is insightful and leaves an intense question. What is my legacy?

The legacy line is not new. Most people know leadership is all about having a vision and leading the path. But is that it? People are born and will die. Is it as simple as this?

The purpose of a human being is beyond just his/her vision in life. The vision we have and the process, through which we reach to it, is merely a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to have lived. Legacy is a higher standard it shows that we actually did something with our lives.

Individuals working in organizations have job descriptions. Life in itself is an organization. There are many people involved and we are the CEO of our life. To be successful in this organization and leave a legacy behind, following four are critical.

Learn:

Life is all about learning. However, here it is not about technical skills or soft skills like communication, negotiation and team work. For life one needs to learn of oneself. ‘Who am I?’ is a useful question to begin with. Most people are disconnected in this area of self-awareness. Learning about oneself is like doing a ‘Training Needs Assessment’ of one’s own behaviors, attitudes, values, principles and mindsets.

Many people go through the learning process once and PERIOD! They fail to take it a step further. These are brilliant minds with rigid mindsets. They have learnt one thing but refuse to accept, learn or for that matter unlearn anything more than what they have already digested in themselves. Greatest learning comes from observing our behaviors in different situations. This is why people say we learn from experience. On the other hand one experience repeated over 20 years simply fixates that learning and handicaps development and growth.

 

Continue reading Part 2