Continuous Learning

Continuous Learning

 24 Jan 2019

Continuous Learning - The Key to Success
 
As young Cara in my team keeps telling me I’m “old” (!?) but I still believe it is extremely important to keep learning even if you are perceived “expert” in your field.
 
Learning is fun, it keeps you motivated, can keep you in a job and improves your promotion prospects!! As for myself, I have recently signed up for multiple Training Courses on how to run a successful Recruitment Company whilst also brushing up on my Investment banking expertise and learning about Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning for a Non-Exec role that I have recently taken on.
 
As the bosses of Microsoft and Google agree; if you want to be successful at any company, you have to be a continuous learner:
 
“How can we build a culture of learn-it-alls as opposed to know it alls” Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
“Learnability is the key skill. We hunt for Learning animals” Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman Google
 
Think about it, at whatever level you are this is ultimately about all of us surviving in our careers. Those that succeed will be the continuous learners.
 
So What Does a Continuous Learner Look Like?
 
These individuals will:
  • Always be learning something new and seeking more knowledge
  • Learn a wide variety of things, not only those related to your current role
  • Seek new ways of doing things and new experiences
  • Always be up to date on current and future trends and technologies
  • Be agile, things change, stuff happens – continuous learners are flexible and adapt to change
  • Maintain networks, be well connected and connect people
  • Be active and visible on social media both tracking and sharing latest developments
 
Here are 5 ways to develop that continuous learning habit in yourself and your teams.
 
1. Have an Objective
You have to want to learn. What motivates you to develop a continuous learning habit? It could be passion for self-improvement or just a natural curiosity. Sometimes that instinctive passion needs to be backed up by other elements, such as:
  • Inspiration – you’re trying to solve a problem and you need something, you don’t know what exactly, to inspire you
  • Frustration – you’re unhappy with the status quo and you want to find a way to change it
  • Self- improvement – you have an inbuilt desire to do better
  • Ambition – to drive your career forward, and win
  • Status –  to feel valued and contributing
  • Embarrassment – you may be exposed in front of colleagues or clients
  • FOMO! Fear of missing out on something important
 
2. Connect
Be Social. Sharing your ideas, building a network of experts who can help you, is a vital step in modern workplace learning.
 
3. Be Outward Looking
In corporate learning settings, our sources for learning tend to be quite narrow. We commission courses or create resources to address defined goals. But that’s a very limited approach to continuous learning. Look beyond your internal courses and resources and efficiently find what’s relevant, and empower people to do it for themselves.
 
4. Reflect and Review
Harvard research found that workers who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day writing and reflecting on what they had learned that day were 20 percent more productive than those who had not. Reflection helps to hardwire the learning and make it more available to your future self. Ask yourself what you’ve learned today, how it helped you, what you’ll do differently tomorrow.
 
5. Have a Growth Mindset
Sometimes what holds us back in continuous learning is a limiting belief, that we’re just not meant to be good at something. Others are more naturally talented in that area, leave it to them. That’s what is called a fixed mindset: believing you’ve either got it or you don’t, and no amount of learning is going to close the gap. On the other hand, you can have a growth mindset – believe that everyone, including you, is capable of continuous improvement through learning and practice. Not hard to guess which on side of the mindset you’ll find continuous learners.
 
As Albert Einstein said “once we stop learning, we start dying”. And a good 21st century addition might be: “If you stop learning, you’ll stop earning.”

 

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