Learning is an on going process and as professionals we are constantly learning be it something you are passionate about or need of an hour. But how many of you are putting what you have learned into practice? Or you are just absorbing information? That’s the real question. Whether you are learning formally like enrolling yourself to any course, or participating in a workshop or seminar or informally through reading an article or conducting research, in both the given settings you should implement your learning if you are looking for any tangible result.
Without putting your learning into practice, the training you’ve received will go to waste, so it’s important to have a strategy for implementing your learning.
So how to translate what you’ve learned into your everyday routine. Here are the different ways:
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Self awareness is the key for better results. Knowing your strengths can assist you in completing your tasks with excellence and knowing your weakness can help you avoid things which are not your priority at that given point of time and work on it if it becomes a hinderance. Make sure you set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals and apply your strength to grow.
Identify Your Accountable Partner
Accountability and regular feedback are two such aspects of effective learning that ensure a better and undisrupted learning. Generally during my training sessions I used to make sure that each participant have their feedback buddies where in they can share their learning goals and meet in between the sessions to hold each other accountable for implementing them. In this way they not only share their success but do give feedback on how to manage challenges.
Know What Is In There For You And For Stake Holders
When it comes to return and outcome, learning without application knowledge is waste of time and money. So ask yourself, Why am I learning this and how it can assist me and my stake holders in achieving my goals.
Develop Learning Metrics
You can customize this according to your need. So create your own improvement metric specific to your skill set. For example something which will show new action taken and repeated or an old behavior deleted. What works, stays , what doesn’t work, removed. Once this is achieved, set next level metric to continue improving. This is a continuous process until you achieve your desired result.
Ongoing Learning Process
Nothing can be achieved overnight. As I said earlier learning is a continuous process, it takes time to implement what you have learned. Supplement your learning by giving support of a coach who can be internal or external that complement and supplement internal leadership practice. This will help organizations and employees to support and develop formation of critical and self-sustaining habits.
Ongoing evaluation Process
It is important to see if you have achieved desired results by implementing new learning. If you are getting the same result , you will realize that you are not practicing what was learned. Do not cheat yourself, loyalty to self is the first step in order to achieve something. You need to remember from a business point of view, we usually set out new ways in order to achieve different result, therefore continuous evaluation is important to keep a check and to see if everything is going according to the plan or not.
Institute Plan of Action and Review Your Goal
To visualize any change by using learned knowledge, you need to have an action plan in place. To develop any habit, it is important you have right, progressive and positive behaviour. Nothing will ever become a part of who you are until it becomes part of our life as in habits. Take baby steps towards transformation by journaling to set accountability and understand your progress.
Application Based Learning
Look out for opportunities which gives you an application knowledge. Whatever learned, if not applied will not make sense, as you will not get to know the ground reality. It promotes innovation from completely new perspective. Therefore combine your learning process with on the job training that will lead to deeper level of understanding of the concepts.
Find a Coach
Find a mentor or a coach who can guide you. He/She can be someone who is more experienced than you or an expert in the field. Learning something can be easy but implementing is not. Having a mentor can hold you accountable to deliver and can motivate you when you are discouraged.
Know your Goals
Set short and long term goals and make it SMART, to ensure progress and dedicate a set time each day or week to practice, reflect and adjust. To transform knowledge into skills, we must immediately apply new information to our world in a meaningful manner.
What an apt quote to end with
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”– Benjamin Franklin