We are constantly presented with opportunities to learn every single day. In every situation, there is something to learn. The challenge now is whether we recognize such learning opportunities or not. Sometimes, even when we become aware of them, we lack the willingness or the drive to extract the lessons from them. Those moments may seem ordinary, but they do not happen twice. We might miss a lot if we miss seeing and learning from them.
In my training sessions, I usually tell participants how knowing is not enough to have power. Whatever knowledge we acquire can only give us an edge when we apply them.
I may have missed plenty of learning opportunities, but I always do my best to grasp as many as possible. How do I make sure that these learning opportunities are well-spent?
- I apply the lessons, especially my key takeaways, immediately. Based on experience, taking the time or delaying the application of a newly acquired knowledge or skill would only lead one to forget. Applying the lessons would help one retain details because of the action that has now been associated with them.
- I relate the lessons/theory to real-life situations. Sometimes, lessons do not make sense when given to us in plain words. To get the essence of it, we need to identify with it and relate it to real-life situations we experience or are experiencing.
- I actively involve myself in the learning process. When I get the chance to learn from training events, I make sure to overcome my shame and participate in all the activities 100%. I am open to being coached in front of other people because such an opportunity is not offered daily.
- I teach the lessons to others. Teaching or imparting my learning to others is the best way to retain all I learned. Not only do I get to recall by sharing the information, but I also realize how each lesson applies to any situation.
There are times when I inadvertently let valuable lessons pass. Only when I experience negative results do I realize how important they are. Such experiences taught me not to take any learning for granted. Let us constantly remind ourselves that we can learn from anything, anywhere, and anyone. Each person may have different roles or goals in life, but we all can fulfill our individual goals when we learn from each other.
How about you? How do you learn best?