February 6, 2012

Ten Ideas to Learn Your Way to Success

Learn Your Way
to Success book

We all have different preferences in how we learn and multiple reasons we desire to learn. In his newest book, Learn Your Way to Success, training and leadership consultant Daniel Tobin gives suggestions for how to increase learning in many situations.  Tobin suggests you can start successful learning by asking questions, doing research and experiments, selecting appropriate reading materials, building a personal learning network, and of course attending formal training seminars, classes, or conferences.

Below are 10 concepts I found especially interesting from the book that can be implemented immediately:
1.      Understand where you fall in the knowledge (or competence) matrix and discuss options with your manager to close the gaps.
2.      In meetings and presentations, write down terms or acronyms you don’t understand so you can research later.
3.      When attending live training or e-learning, write down points where you need clarification so you can ask the instructor, a fellow learner, or your manager for more details.
4.      Before and after training or conferences, write down a few main objectives that you want to learn about and ideas to implement in your own work so you gain the most from the learning experience.
5.      When reading books or articles, make notes on key points that you feel are pertinent to your job or may be of interest to someone in your network.
6.      After learning something new, quiz yourself by writing down what you think are the 3-4 key points to remember.  Then check your notes to see if you remembered correctly. 
7.      Whenever an idea occurs to you, write it down in a “Personal Learning Journal” to investigate further when time, creativity, or resource permit.   Be sure to review the journal at least once a week in order to act upon your ideas.
8.      Observe others in meetings and presentations to see what works well so you can emulate it in your presentations your deliver or meetings you lead.
9.      If you find a website full of useful information, bookmark it so you can find it quickly or future research and learning.
10. Consider on-the-job-training and either internal-company or external coaching and mentoring programs for continued learning, accountability, and career growth as well.

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