These days, lifelong learning is not an option but a necessity. In an ever growing competitive market, no matter which field of work we are in, we have to ensure we’re continuously learning, enhancing our skills and making every day count. In this process, do we ever question ourselves – how can we boost our learning? I certainly do and my guest blogger today, Emma Webber, is here to tell us about the same. Read on…
Emma Weber is CEO and founder of Lever – Transfer of Learning and author of Turning Learning into Action: A Proven Methodology for Effective Transfer of Learning (2014, Kogan Page). Emma’s firm belief, and the platform on which she has built her successful global business, is that the key aim of learning in the workplace is to create tangible business benefits. She established Lever – Transfer of Learning and the Turning Learning into Action™ (TLA) methodology to help organizations and their employees convert learning to effective action back on the job. A recognized authority on the transfer of learning, Emma has been a guest speaker on learning effectiveness at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the USA. Emma’s second book, Making Change Work: How to Create Behavioural Change in Organizations to Drive Impact and ROI, co-authored with Jack and Patti Phillips of the ROI Institute, was published on May 2016 by Kogan Page.
This is what she has to say…
You may be a great learner already – but are you using what you’ve learnt?
Attending a skills training or personal development workshop may give you information but it will only become a useful learning experience when it becomes your new way of doing things.
Use these 5 tricks to create real impact from your learning experiences.
1) Capture the learning while in the learning zone: If you’re learning something and you’re loving it, capture it as you go. You could do this via an audio record or just plain old pen and paper. As silly as this sounds, use a notebook you love. Try and summarise key points as you read, so you can review the information without needing to re-read everything. If you haven’t had time to do this during the learning experience then stop off at a coffee shop afterwards to summarise your notes before you get back to normal life and forget about it.
2) Create an action plan: Preparation is one of the key stages in effectively transferring learning. Put pen to paper and commit to what you are going to do. Do it immediately, whilst you are still inspired by what you are learning, before you leave the learning venue. Don’t think you will come back to it – you probably won’t. Focus on these five key features when creating your action plan:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Why is it important to you?
- How will you know if you’ve been successful?
- What is your current status on a scale of 1-10?
- What are the next steps to action this goal? (Check out this example action plan to start you off!)
3) Have a timeline on your action plan: Break your actions into bite size chunks using a timeline spread over the next 3 months. Start with what needs to happen immediately before you can go any further with the project. Any longer than 3 months, and you may find it challenging to keep the momentum going.
4) Don’t put anything in the plan you won’t do: Sounds obvious, but you may have to think long and hard about this. If you’re really not into it at the time you are doing your action plan, or it’s something that you think you should do rather than want to do, then don’t put it in the plan. Don’t put on your action plan what you think your company wants you to do, your manager wants you to do, or the trainer wants to you to do – put what you want to do. That way the transfer of learning is so much higher.
5) Tell someone about your plan – get them to hold you accountable: Find an ‘accountability buddy’. An accountability buddy helps hold you accountable to what you want to do. They don’t nag you or tell you what to do, but they have a copy of your plan too. You can agree upfront how often you are going to review the plan with them to discuss progress. Their role is to listen, so pick someone you think can listen. If could be a friend, a mentor, or a work colleague. Steer clear you’re your partner or manager. It can be hard for them to be impartial and support you with what you want to do rather than go to their own agenda. It is crucial to engage in some form of follow up support after learning if you want to make the learning count.
Have fun with it and turn your learning into action!
Emma has contributed this blog post towards TE’s #30DaysOfAwesomeLearning series. Now, we want to hear it from you, what is your best take away from this blog. How will you enable your transfer of learning? Put it in the comments below.
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