Have you ever asked a child, “What did you learn today?”. If so, you’ve undoubtedly seen them scan their brain to recollect what wisdom their teacher bestowed upon them that day. Quite frequently, you might get a shoulder shrug or a lackluster reply of “Nothing.”
Nothing? Not a thing? This child spent hours in an environment created for their educational experience, and they learned…nothing? Astounding, right?
What if I asked you?
You possibly spend 8+ hours a day engaged with people in meetings, various trainings, discussions, etc. You are likely presented with many new opportunities to gain more knowledge. Yet, if I asked you this same question, could you tell me what you learned, if it weren’t plainly laid out before you as a “training”?
This question is really prompting you to think about your active learning process. Active learning involves you participating and interacting with the process instead of passively taking it in. Is yours an active process? How are you logging what you learn, its value and how it adds to your success? Have you determined what type of learner you are and adapted accordingly? Sure, you could spend your time learning why Paige put up with Chris as long as she did (any other “Married at First Sight” fans? – my reality show guilty pleasure), but how does that serve you?
We hosted Dr. Sunil Erevelles recently, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He suggested that companies add a question to their performance appraisals: “What have you changed in the past year to make your company a different place?” It’s a really good question for the company and the employee, as it is focused on innovation. I’d like to shift the question a bit, though, to complement our plan for self-evaluation this month. Imagine asking yourself, “What have I changed in the past year to make myself a better person?” If you haven’t documented your year, this may seem challenging. However, it shouldn’t be because the summation of the active learning done throughout the year should yield a positive answer to this.
In my own self-reflection, I appreciate how fast we are creating new things to know, and how impossible it is to know them all. I appreciate that staying active in my learning inspires me. It leads me to look for more ways to understand and inspires me to share that learning. I am grateful for audio books and other media which have accelerated my growth because I am an auditory learner.
Our theme song this week is “ABC” by The Jackson 5