What did you learn yesterday? Will you remember it a week from now? Will what you learned make you a better leader, team player, and employee?
Incorporating learning into your daily workflow is more than just retention of information; it is the application of that knowledge. How you learn dictates how you will apply that knowledge and there are two broad categories:
- Personal learning – initiated by the individual
- Corporate learning – encouraged by the organization
Each can be a catalyst that revitalizes you, your team, and the company as a whole.
Cultivating a personal learning philosophy is simpler than you may imagine. Use these strategies to begin your journey.
- Learn to learn – Opportunities to learn abound; consciously recognize them. Ask questions at negotiations and meetings, solicit feedback after your presentations, and request additional relevant information from other managers. Most people will eagerly share their expertise and opinions with you.
- Make a list – Each of us would love to understand our work and our workplace better. Once you learn how to learn, you will find that there is more undiscovered knowledge than time. List the most important and relevant topics and set aside time to investigate and explore them later.
- Make time – Learning is too often relegated to the end of the queue so integrate it into your daily workflow. Learn during your commute, breaks, or even at your desk as part of your job, if applicable. The important thing is to prioritize learning and make it a conscious habit.
- Teach to learn – They say that if you really understand a topic, you would be able to explain it to an 8-year-old. Instead of grade schoolers, focus on sharing your knowledge with other professionals in the company through a learning channel. Often, the questions you are asked will encourage you to keep learning yourself.
Top-down learning can be very effective if it has the right focus and is managed intelligently.
- An exclusive channel – Platforms like Slack allow companies of all sizes to have a devoted learning channel. Encourage contribution by selecting individuals who have active social media accounts to participate. Nurture engagement by sharing knowledge that has real-world applications.
- Internal pathways – Does your corporate website or intranet have knowledge resources that employees can use? Review what is available for relevancy and ease of use. Revamp where necessary so anyone who comes looking can find the information they seek easily.
- Use email – Although decidedly un-versatile, email remains overwhelmingly popular as an information channel for business executives. Leverage this tool by sharing relevant knowledge with your team via emails crafted in such a way that you can deliver valuable knowledge in bite-sized chunks.
Neither personal nor corporate learning requires a massive investment. Ultimately, all the human mind needs is a glimmer in the darkness to pique its curiosity. The strategies we outlined above can be the first spark.
At DeSantis Trusted Advisors, we provide consulting, advisory, and coaching services to businesses and their stakeholders with the goal of creating pathways to success. Contact me today for more information.