Sunday, October 27, 2013

Career Success - Have A Learning Rhythm

Key Themes: Employee Training & Development, Effective Management, Performance Management
If you are really interested in your own development and growth, in the growth and development in the people you lead then you’ll want to read on.
As companies continue to invest in the training of their employees there still seems to be some key elements missing to insure there is a meaningful return on investment. The key employee training component that impacts several other key components is this – a learning rhythm.
Consider the definition of rhythm: a regularly recurrent quantitative change. Rhythm implies ongoing, consistent, and reliable.
In reflecting on these three qualities, ask yourself does your own professional learning include those qualities?  Additionally, does any employee training or management training contain those qualities?  The answer for many companies is no!
Professional development to be truly effective, to get real results must have these components.  Here are some practical considerations:
1. At the beginning of each week, decide on your focus for the week.
2. Determine what resource(s) you will use to add to your current knowledge around the area of focus. A resource could be a book, audio, blog post, or article.
3. Set aside and commit to a certain time each day (this a secondary rhythm) that you give attention to the area.  The good news, it doesn’t have to be that much time.  Even 5 minutes is useful.
4. In that time, take in new information and think about times, ways, situations to which you can apply what you’re learning. You can also decide on key information that you repeatedly review everyday. Repetition, particularly spaced repetition is also a necessary component in adult learning and employee training.
5. Keep a learning notebook.  There is something about writing that helps to reinforce the learning experience.
So why is rhythm necessary and powerful?  Rhythm helps to engage the brain in such a way as to create a complete sensory experience engaging us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  That repeated multiple sensory experience begins to build sensory memory which accelerates development towards the desire behavior change. This ultimately builds a habit.  A habit, as we know, is permanent behavior change and isn’t that what training is really all about?….turning knowledge into know how?… and isn’t know how tangible behavior?
Coaching Question: Can you identify tangible outcomes from the learning your experiencing?  Whether it’s from a book or seminar how are you practically integrating what you’re learning into your real time experience?
Two areas of changes to look for: change in thought and/or change in behavior – one precedes the other.

Coaching tip: The 1% Edge Portable Coach App was designed to help you keep your learning rhythm.  Available on all smartphone platforms, if you haven't experienced it yet, you should-- and it's free!   Learn more about the app  |  Bonus tip: If you're a manager, use it with your team! Use it as a quick resource for an easy lunch and learn.

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