I’ve been enthused to write this blog by the CIPD blog squad lead this year Helen Amery @WildFigsolns. Helen has challenged us to think about ‘making everyday a learning day’. So far today, I’ve shouted at my laptop on numerous occasions as I’m in France and the wind is affecting the wifi – I know that’s a first world problem – but it’s still an annoying one!
But what does this mean if I’m to make a conscious effort to make everyday a learning day? For me, I think it means more reflection, and then a conscious effort to practise new behaviour.
I know I get frustrated (although I only shout at inanimate objects in the privacy of my own office), and that frustration does occasionally come out in my voice. I need to temper that, recognise when it’s happening and make choices about what I say and do …. It won’t always work, and I will probably still show frustration sometimes, but this should happen less often over time AS LONG as I reflect and practise on my impact and the change I want to make.
Learning takes time: I read a blog and watched a video yesterday. The blog was written by the most senior person in the organisation and the phrase ‘I learned’ appeared 3 times in the last few paragraphs. It’s refreshing to hear personal stories of doubt and unknowing – we’re not alone in being worried and nervous about something new. The video message was a personal story of learning over 8 years – ‘change doesn’t happen overnight’ and ‘it’s not easy’. Difficult messages to hear when we operate in a world of instant gratification and ‘flick of the switch’ returns.
My ‘every day a learning day’ promise:
- Reflect and make my practice conscious i.e. not just thinking about it, but thinking about what I’m trying to do, what happens when I try, the impact I want to make and what to try next time
- Keep a log of what’s happening – daily probably isn’t realistic – weekly is.
- Seek out feedback, share with my network and ask for help
One of the hardest things I find is to encourage others to reflect, really listen and acknowledge feedback, and try new things. It is one of the challenges we face in our L&D world. The L&Ders around me are full of enthusiasm for ‘modern workplace learning’ methods; a move to collaboration and partnership and away from the ‘sage on the stage’. Yet, our customers are global and ‘learning literacy’ is still far from a reality in a number of places, regardless of grade or job title. We have to start from where people are on the ‘learning to learn’ curve even when we are skipping down the other side exhilarated and enthused.
Next piece – what can we do about it?