1. We have no time! We are busy with work and personal lives.2. We lose focus. Social media, news, work demands or just life in general pull us away.3. We don't apply our learning enough for learning to stick.Before we know it, the resolution to learn fizzles off. The learning from the articles or YouTube videos or the program evaporates. In the end, the time and resources invested in learning is wasted. Six months later we find ourselves in the same spot as before.
Here are 4 proven learning strategies according to Wendy Tan, Managing Partner of Flame Centre, through her research and interviews with agile learners who become successful leaders, app developers, data scientists, researchers and more.
1. Leverage your motivation at its highestWhen we are triggered to learn a skill, our motivation at that point is at its highest. Use it to set up the structure for your learning, so you continue to learn even when the motivation wanes.
2. Create a playground to use what you're learningFor example, make it part of your work to use this skill. If it's not currently part of your work scope, speak to your manager about it, e.g., find a project or join a task force. Make it voluntary work or get into a challenge. For example, a dancer learning saxophone took the leap to sign up for a music performance 6 months later. You can imagine, he really practised! By creating a playground to use the skill, you will have to necessarily learn to succeed!
3. Join a community, so your learning is continuous over timeArticles and programs tend to be episodic. Learning happens in layers over time. For example, join a community that has webinars or meetings once a month. You will learn different aspects of the topic or skill. A community also gives you access to other like-minded people, experts and role models to consult.
4. Set up feedback structuresBy knowing how we are doing as we practise new skills, we are encouraged when we do well or we get early data points to make tweaks. Without knowing how we are doing, the focus on learning wanes. Tell your manager or colleague or family member about the skill you are learning. Ask them to observe you and tell you directly what is working and what to tweak.
When learning motivation is highest, create structures to keep your learning wheel spinning towards mastery. After you have created your playground, joined a community and set up feedback structures, attending courses or accessing resources on Google can fit nicely into your overall learning strategy. You will be amazed you become a different person in 6 months' time!
Article by Wendy Tan, Managing Partner, The Flame Centre
Learn more from The Flame Centre's upcoming Learning Agility Workshop here.