This week has been very much about learning. I have been delivering training, delivering Board appraisals, undertaking training myself and also teaching myself how to use some new technology. There has been a LOT of swearing about the latter. But I got there. And its a 40 days since I restarted my Welsh lessons.
Here are three things I have learned / relearned about learning this week:
1 — Learning through stories
Most people seem to report that being on zoom doesn’t exactly increase their appetite for long talk and chalk sessions. But one thing has stayed the same. Learning is about stories, I think. That’s how information was passed from generation to generation in pre-historic times. Its how my daughter learns. We can google facts on our own. But we learn best when we share stories with each other. Anything the trainer / mentor can do to share stories with impact can only help.
2 — Being of open mind
I have delivered lots of finance training over the years. And one thing which you have to work to get over is people’s fear of finance. It can override the mood in the room. I’ve found it useful to address that upfront, and talk about it. It is all about trying to open up the attendee’s mind to learning. Sometimes its just finding the tiniest entry point, a little joke, or something relatable, and starting from there.
And the same point is the teacher needs to be of open mind too. The best stuff happens if you are brave enough to trust the process, and let people ask genuinely questions. That’s when the process becomes alive. Someone asked me a great question in the session I was leading this week. It will be the subject of a further blog!
3 — Resilience through learning
Early in lockdown last year I hit on the fact that learning a new skill occupies the mind, and can be a useful way of dissipating anxiety. I found it really helpful to think of lockdown as a way of learning new skills, and in my case, using social media in more effective ways. I’m still not a great Youtuber, but it definitely has been a useful and necessary skill which I will still be using in years time. I believe that learning (and hopefully, achieving mastery of a skill) is a way of building resilience, particularly when the skill is relevant to the challenges we face.
I have also decided it is time to draw a halt to this season of weeknotes. Its been a blast. I have a couple of exciting projects I am working on though, so I will be back very soon. Thank you for joining me on the ride. And another seasons weeknotes will follow shortly…