Monday, September 19, 2016

NextToLearn

Learning is fundamental to our personal and professional growth.  Most folks understand this.  But, what is it that we need to learn next in order to grow ourselves personally or professionally?  That question is far too often unanswered, AND unasked.  

So, what drives the purposeful pursuit of what we need to learn next?  Two things, I think:  1) a perceived deficiency that we believe might be impairing our performance, or 2) a perceived gap in our learning, the closing of which can potentially push us to new heights of performance.  

For those who are very purposeful in their pursuit of learning (thus, growth), the recipe looks like this:

  1. Identify the deficiency or gap for which the next learning needs to occur.  This is done by self-reflection, self-assessment, and/or by gaining critical and honest feedback from others whose opinions and insights really count.
  2. Craft a plan (yes, a written plan) by which we intend to make that next learning happen. 
  3. Follow the plan.  Diligently pursue the knowledge or hone the skills we have chosen to acquire.
  4. Monitor the plan.  Flag our calendar regularly to "check up" on our own progress.  As one of my valued colleagues is fond of saying, "That which is not monitored, is optional."
Ready.  Set.  LEARN! 

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