Welcome back to day five 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, Aim and Reflect. Today we are looking at the last letter…N for Navigate.
The Dr Seuss quote “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn the more places you’ll go” is great to help us remember what is important about the process of learning. Learning isn’t about gathering information, filling note books and watching PowerPoint slides. Learning is about action, improvement and changes in behaviour. The question is…What changes are needed and how do you know?
As we have seen in previous #Lovelearning blogs, it is vital to actively listen, engage with the learning experiences, have a clear aim for your learning time and take time to reflect. This part of the LEARN acronym is about having a clear learning journey and knowing where you want to get to overall. Having a Personal Development Plan (PDP) with a clear vision of where you are going is a really important part of getting the most from your learning experiences. Do you have one?
A good PDP should include the following:
- A well-defined vision of your destination
As with all plans, you need to know where you are going so that you can plan the appropriate journey to get there. So you need to ask yourself where do you want to get to? What does success look like? Some people find it really useful to create vision boards to give themselves a visual reference point of where they are heading so they can keep looking at it and keep themselves on track.
- A critical analysis of what is happening now
In order for you to know where to focus your attention; you need to be clear on where you are now, what is going well, what isn’t and where your challenges are. Using a standard SWOT approach is useful here:
Strengths – What are you really good at now? What skills do you have? What do you enjoy doing?
Weaknesses – What are you not good at? What do you not enjoy doing? What feedback do you regularly get?
Opportunities – What is happening around you that could help you achieve your vision? Who is there to support you?
Threats – What could get in the way of your achieving your vision (both professionally and personally?)
- A clear identification of key development areas
Once you have reviewed your analysis of now, pick two or three things that you want to work on (and if there are more things, put them on a list ready to tackle once you have addressed the first ones). Make sure that the ones you have selected will help you achieve your vision and are achievable so that you don’t become demotivated with a lack of progress.
- Structured goals set with real actions
When you know what you are focusing on you can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) goals. Make sure you go into detail here. List exactly what you will do, who will be involved, when you will do each task, what success looks like. This is your action plan and if this part is vague then you won’t get started!
- A robust review process
From the outset, you need to be clear about how you will review, evaluate and measure your achievement toward your goals and vision. Plan time in your diary for reviewing and, where possible, involve key stakeholders and supporters in your review times. It is a great opportunity to see where you are and to adjust your goals to help you stay on track.
Having a well thought through PDP will help you get the most from every learning experience because you will know exactly where you are going and what you need. It will provide you with the context to help learning make sense. Remember, knowledge sits on a shelf (and it dusted off when you need it)…Learning is your map to where you want to go. Learning opens doors, it creates opportunities and sparks excitement in the future.
#Lovelearning #Valentinesweek #Amblerock