Three Words to Keep Us Learning
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Last week I talked about the need to keep learning. This past week I heard three words that will help us keep learning if applied. Let’s dive right in.
- Preparation – We always need to be prepared to learn. I once heard someone say that everyone can teach you something. This means every interaction we have throughout our day is a learning moment. As you review your agenda for the day, ask yourself what the key learning moments might be. Who will you be meeting with that you can learn from? What are you currently learning that you could learn more about today? Is there something new that you will be exposed to? It just takes a bit of intentionality and planning.
- Contemplation – Slow down and contemplate what you are experiencing. Doris Kerns Goodwin studied several United States Presidents. All, except for Lyndon B. Johnson, made a practice of spending time alone for the purpose of thinking. They felt the need to contemplate the events of the day. Remember, reflection turns experience into insight.
- Application – The faster we apply what we learn, the greater the return, and the less likely we will be to forget it. Some years ago, I learned these three questions related to application and I have them posted on the bulletin board next to my desk:
- Where can I use it? As you learn something new, immediately try to use it somewhere.
- When can I use it? If you can’t apply it right away, when can you? Make sure you make notes in your calendar so you don’t forget.
- Who needs to know it? This last question is where leadership steps up a notch. Instead of keeping the information so we can leverage it to our advantage, we use the information to help others get ahead.
Continuous learning is the only way to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. With just a little extra effort, you can leverage ordinary days into extraordinary opportunities.