What Type of Learner Are You?

Getting everyone moving to the same drum

It has been school holidays and we have been focused on having some fun with the kids.  My eldest daughter, Jasmine has also been working on a school assignment during the holidays.  Last night as she was working away I started thinking about the mindset that we have around learning.  For most of us, we were raised during the time that learning and studying were when you were at school and that once you left school you didn’t need to continue learning.

This was probably true in the 1980’s when the time was much slower and things did not happen as fast as they do now.  However, today I am finding that most of the leaders that I am working with are continually learning.  With so many innovations and new technology platforms emerging, it is even more important to keep fresh an open-minded.

I have found that there are 3 types of learners:  Clever, Forced and Reactive.

What type of learner are you?

  1. Clever Learners:  These are the learners that are searching for new information, innovations or ways to do things faster or smarter.  They often spend their time between meetings or projects scanning through the internet or other sources to see what the new emerging trends are and what others are doing to stay productive, leveraging technology and new ways of doing things.
  2. Forced Learners.  I am always amazed when I work with a leader who does not actively look to learn, but the industry or role that they are in force them to learn.  Recently I spoke with a leader who had a team of staff in regional areas that were talking about the change in their organisational structure and how they were getting their people to use technology such as their smartphones and tablets, rather than paper and pen whilst they were on the road.  In essence, these staff were being forced to make the transition because their role had changed and they had no choice if they wanted to complete all the tasks on their plate.
  3. Reactive Learners. These learners are the ones that still are trying to avoid learning and often the ones lagging in their roles.  They are often letting others lead the way and waiting for the learning to land in their lap when they are ready for it.  Unfortunately, these are also the people that I find create stress for their colleagues because they are often viewed as not equally carrying the workload and others need to pick up their slack.

Think back to the last week or two.  Which category would you put yourself into?  Now is the time to be a Clever Learner.  When you have a spare 10 minutes, take the time to search your industry and find out what the new trends are.  Talk to people in your network to learn what they view as the emerging strategies to move forward. 

The more you actively learn, the more others admire and respect you and the better prepared you can be for the future.Anchor