Creating A Learning Environment

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I just went through a leadership training course from my work and it talked about developing team members, helping them grow and achieve higher levels of success. I believe it is important for all people to continue learning throughout their life. The act of learning something new, whether related to work or not, exercises a part of our brain that keeps us moving forward. It also helps us be ready for those times in our life when we are forced to learn something new, be it a job change, learning to parent a teenager or how to deal with a difficult boss. Things change but we also should never settle for where we are at as good enough. If you are a leader or a parent, you should help create an environment where learning is expected and regularly discussed.

We need to be supportive of people that we interact with. Even if it is learning something you don't necessarily see value in, the fact they are learning something new is important, so support it. You also need to encourage it. Ask questions about what someone is learning, a new hobby they took up or the latest book they are reading. You can share something new you've learned or something new you are trying, even if you are failing miserably at it. Make having discussions about learning a regular event.

It is also important to remember that instructor lead training, reading training manuals or online teachings are great tools but studies show that 70% of what we learn is forgotten after the training. We learn better by practicing, so wherever possible remember that doing more hands on training and application is better. Physics class was always the best example of this to me, the theory was interesting but challenging to learn, but when you applied it to predicting how far you could hurl a projectile across the yard it became a lot more real and a lot more fun.

Learning should be fun. To me it is a lot like reading. If you want to teach someone to enjoy reading, you need to find books that are on subjects that interest them. The subject matter usually is less important compared to getting people to just read. It doesn't matter the subject, go learn something new today.


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