Welcome back to #Valentinesweek at Amblerock Training & Development
This week we are getting into the Valentine’s spirit by helping you to #Lovelearning! There are 5 things you need to do well to get more from learning…they are:
- Be an expert at Listening
- Engage with the learning experience
- Be clear on your personal Aims and objectives
- Spend time Reflecting on what you have learnt
- Use your new learning to help you Navigate your journey
These key points come together to make the acronym LEARN…and this week we will explore each one to help you make the most of it. Yesterday we covered Listening #Lovelearning -Day 1 (Listen) and today we are looking at E – Engage.
So what do I mean by Engage? When it comes to maximising a learning experience you need to take an active role in engaging with the content and using the information you are being told. Great listening is the first step (as my blog yesterday explained) but it’s just as important to take action and use the learning you are being exposed to. Let me give you an example…
Think about learning a new skill like driving. When you first get into the driver’s seat you are given a mountain of information about what all the buttons and pedals do, what to look for, the routines you need to follow, what the road signs mean, the rules of the road…it is quite overwhelming. The ‘simple’ act of getting the car moving, balancing the clutch, accelerator and handbrake sounds easy enough to do as an observer but the real learning comes from feeling the biting point and understanding what happens when it works well (and when it doesn’t!). It is the action of engaging with the learning – actually doing something, not just being a passive observer that makes the difference between having the knowledge and truly learning a new skill.
Jim Rohn’s quote “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge, let your learning lead to action” reminds us to watch out for the trap of just collecting knowledge and instead to focus on real learning which only happens when you engage, take action and experience the learning for yourself.
So here are my 5 top tips for engaging with any learning experience…
- Ask yourself “how can I use this?” or “What does this mean for me?” all the time during learning.
Not everything you listen to will be relevant however your job is to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’…so with everything you encounter, ask these questions and separate out the useful stuff. Sometimes you will find that you are listening to information that you have heard before, but remember that you have never heard it in this exact point of your life. Things may have changed in your life since you last saw this concept or model…so before you write it off and ignore it, ask yourself the questions – just to be sure.
- Make notes
I always recommend learners take notes but I realise that it is not everyone’s preference. However, making notes can help you make sense of what you are hearing, it makes a useful reference point for refreshing your memory at a later date, it is very helpful to use in your reflection times and it helps you focus – because you are not just a passive listener…you are doing something with the information you are hearing.
My top tip for making notes is to write what you are hearing in your own words. Don’t just write down the trainer’s script into your notebook. Listen, understand and then summarise what you have taken away. This will ensure that you are actually processing the information rather than just copying down the words.
- Take part in all the activities
The more you actually do in a learning session, the more you will remember and the more you will be able to make sense of the information in your own context. When volunteers are asked for – be brave and put yourself forward…take part in the role play, allow yourself to be the guinea pig – those that do take part are much more likely to remember the learning because they are actively engaged with it. When learning is designed, activities are carefully chosen to maximise learning (it’s actually quite a complicated art even though it can look easy!). Time is taken to select just the right activity to bring a subject to life, test a theory or create a specific environment so that the learners can experience and understand the learning objective. The only way to take full advantage of this is to be involved and take part!
- Switch off technology
Make sure your mobile is switched off and you remove all distractions that might stop you from fully engaging in the learning. Learning time is precious, don’t waste it by being distracted…there will always be a chance to listen to messages and return calls.
- Relax and enjoy it!
Some people find being in learning sessions stressful and not a productive use of time. However, the more you relax and allow yourself the space to engage, the more you will gain from the session! Accept that you are there (stop worrying about where else you could be) and look for the positives and how it could impact on you going forward. You get out what you put in…
See you tomorrow for the next instalment of #Lovelearning week which will focus on A – Aim, where we explore why you need to be clear on what you want to achieve from the learning to make it effective.
#Lovelearning #Valentinesweek #Amblerock