My whole working career has been focused on helping others to achieve success through learning and development. A large part of that is ensuring the learning gets through and sticks.
Here are two things I know help people achieve ongoing success from learning whether they’re in a 2-day workshop, one-off seminar, reading an article, listening to podcast, watching a 30-second vlog or in a conversation with a colleague.
1: Being Accountable
There are many reasons why people don’t take on the learning from programs, seminars or presentations. The thing is that when we rely on reasons or blame we give away our power. In a Learning & Development (L&D) situation that means ‘giving up’ the opportunity to improve and be better. So rather than relying on excuses like being too busy to implement a change or not knowing which concept to start with, step up, be accountable for your development and look at what you can do.
What can you do?
Recognise the Opportunity Instead of coming to the session and viewing it as an interruption or a rehash, see it as an opportunity. Focus on being open to learning something new, or at the very least to confirm what you’re doing is right so you can help others become more skilled. Have you heard of The Protege Effect?
Participate Fully Participate in activities, answer questions, share your knowledge, thoughts and experiences. Not only will that embed your learning but it will help others to embed theirs. Build on your unique team intelligence.
Take Notes If you can create in your mind’s eye how a particular concept can work for you write it down, highlight it, and send yourself a reminder. Even the best of the best take notes and re-read them and apply them. Richard Branson famously has notepaper and a pen with him wherever he goes. Remember: the real magic is in the doing, as in rereading, and taking action.
We’re not always ready to hear what we need to hear, see what we’d like to see, or absorb what is being taught, but if we can recognise it for the opportunity it is, focus and be ready, then you will be surprised with an ‘aha’ or lightbulb moment that might improve your life.
An Aha Moment is the second you hear or think something that resonates with you in such a way that you know you have to do something about it! It could be that you have just learnt something new or you see how you could do something differently, perhaps it’s a confirmation that what you’re doing is, in fact, great and you’re on the right track.
What Creates Aha! Moments?
Listening: Listen to others, people have so much knowledge to share from their experiences. Listen to yourself, take the time to let your learning sink in, listen to your intuition. It’s often in the quiet times or times that you least expect, that aha’s come to you, just like my plane experience.
Enquiring: Ask questions. If you are curious, the world of aha’s will open up to you
Sharing: Share with others what is happening in your world and you will be surprised how the aha’s appear in your generosity.