At our last Highflyingdivas’ Forum hosted by The Home Office, our host handed me some tips on learning without attending a training course. Here are few of them.
1. Working on a cross-disciplinary project. People develop skills as they work in a particular discipline and they also develop different perspectives relating to their functional expertise. A Financial Manager will usually look at topics with a different mindset than perhaps a Commercial Manager or HR Manager. Working in cross-disciplinary teams (whether within your organisation or via networking) will introduce new skills, perspectives and an understanding of different disciplines and how they are applied.
2. Put learning as a self-development activity into your diary and keep a learning log. What video could you watch? What online research could you do? What reading material could you have in your briefcase for those train journeys, waiting rooms etc? The availability of information is never the issue if you have a focused approach to how much time a week or month you wish to allocate to self-development.
3. Reflecting. This is a powerful skill if developed into a habit. First you have to notice, then absorb and finally ask yourself questions such as “what have I noticed?”. “What does this mean?” “What have I learnt or am I learning?” Every event, whether a meeting, reading an article or sharing an experience will provide opportunities to develop yourself, if you take the time to reflect and capture the learning.
So don’t just wait for the “training budget” to be fixed – look at a learning mind-set that keeps up the pace between, and in addition to, the usual formal approaches.
More ideas on increasing learning for yourself or your team is included in my e-book.
The Week: A busy week with the University of Essex BigE Workshop 5 on Monday followed by two workshops of two days each. The first in London and the second in Leeds both for a major high street bank on the subject of being a Trusted Advisor.
Reading: As the end of the month was this week, I am summarising the books mentioned in November. These were.
” You Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest Potential” by Alan Fine.
“Language of Leaders” by Kevin Murray .
“Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day” by Dave Evans.
Lighter Reflections: I have returned to carrying a UK map in my car as my trust in the car’s navigation system has been somewhat dampened. My system only accepts the first 4 letters of a postcode. I then have to enter a street, hoping that either the details that I have will appear in the list or I will recognise something similar in the list. This has resulted in my driving to a location which ends in a one-way street and my destination is at the opposite end. Or, the other side of a dual carriageway or the other side of some impassable obstacle. I have never however heard the following announced from my Sat Nav until earlier this week. “You have arrived in the vicinity of your destination”. What am I supposed to do with that information? What exactly might be the logical interpretation of “vicinity”? Would I expect my bank to tell me that my balance was in the “vicinity” of the overdraft limit? That my exam results were in the “vicinity” of the pass mark? How close is the official definition of “vicinity” – steps, yards, kilometres, miles???? Do I need a pair of running shoes, roller-skates, bike in my car-boot or just the phone number of local taxi? Any light shed on this term would be greatly appreciated!!