Welcome back to day four of #Valentinesweek at Amblerock Training & Development
Just to remind you, we are getting into the Valentine’s spirit this week 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 are exploring each one to help you make the most of it. So far we have covered Listening, Engage, and Aim and today we are looking at R – Reflect.
Reflection is one of those things that a lot of people view as a ‘nice to do’ however, if done well and consistently, reflection can make a huge difference to your overall learning experience…but why?
In my experience, learning for adults very rarely happens in the classroom (or in any formal learning event). It happens in the ‘real world’ whilst you are putting knowledge into practise. To take the driving example that I used in a previous blog, you can learn the theory of driving in a classroom or by watching a video. You can learn how a car works – what all the buttons and levers do by reading a manual, but the only way you really learn to drive is by putting the hours in behind the wheel, on the road. Experiencing what it feels like, thinking about what you are doing and analysing what is working and what isn’t…reflecting!
To take it one step further, you often find that a close call of an accident is where you reflect most about what you did (or didn’t do) and you make decisions about changing your behaviour. It is in these situations that you learn most about how to be safe behind the wheel. This process of learning whilst doing is often explained, in the learning world, by using the 70:20:10 model. It says that 10% of your learning happens in a formal setting (education), 20% of your learning happens in a social setting – learning from others (exposure) and 70% of your learning happens by doing (experience). Reflection happens in all three of these areas but you really see the benefits in reflecting whilst you are ‘experiencing’.
Something useful to remember about reflection is timing. There are two different types of reflection which can be described as “Hot” and “Cold”. Hot reflection is in the moment, during or straight after an event. For example in the moments as you walk away from talking to someone. Hot reflection is usually emotionally charged and is a direct reaction to the experience you have just had.
Cold reflection happens sometime after the event, you have had a chance to ponder on what happened, have maybe replayed conversations in your head a few times and now you might have a less emotional view of what happened or what was said. You can be more objective and can see different angles of why things happened as they did.
Both hot and cold reflection is valid – for different reasons. It’s important to recognise your hot response to something (your gut reaction) as it probably tells you a lot about how you really feel about an experience you have had. Your cold response however, is more measured and logical and the removal of emotions will help you see more clearly. In a learning context, your hot reaction might be an emotional response to how you feel about a learning experience you have had…you might have found something really interesting or exciting. In a period of cold reflection you might begin critically thinking about what the new information means to you and your job. What seemed very exciting in the moment, might now be forming into a real action plan of people to talk to, research to be done and behavioural changes to start.
What structured reflection time can give us, is an opportunity to make sense of the information we have gathered and put it in context. When we first learn something it can be hard to really understand it. It is only after some time, some practise (and often some trial and error) that we start to make sense of it in our own way to truly understand and to learn from the information we were given. This links nicely to the quote today from Albert Einstein – “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, then you don’t understand it yourself”. I have a young child and I know first-hand the importance of knowing what you are talking about when you are explaining something! Recently, my 5 year old asked me “Why is it raining?”. Thank goodness for google! I thought I knew how to explain that…but after 4 or 5 ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ (and no sign of her just accepting what I was vaguely saying!), I needed more detail to fill the gaps and it turns out I didn’t know as much as I thought. Learning doesn’t tend to happen in the first moment of seeing or hearing something. It happens when you take the time to think about it, experience it, practise it, find your own words for it and teach others about it. It’s not about gathering information it’s about understanding what it means and what to do with it.
See you tomorrow for the next instalment of #Lovelearning week which will focus on N – Navigate, where we explore the importance of using the learning you acquire to reach your goals.
#Lovelearning #Valentinesweek #Amblerock