The Profile of a Successful Learner

Learning has changed dramatically, and the pandemic, like all disruptive changes, has certainly accelerated the need to learn faster.

The first thing to note is that learning does not equate to just training.

Training may be a part of it, but the pace of change is such that organizations can’t afford to leave this critical skill to HR or training departments alone. The organization needs to learn continuously, spontaneously and in the flow of daily work to keep up.

The Successful Learner Profile offers key skills for integrating learning in the process of getting the work done, and as a leader you play a key role in keeping your team skilled and business ready.

Profile of a Successful Learner

Learning from Experience – Learning from experience is about using your everyday experiences and helping team members use their own to grow skills. Experiences include:

  • Projects

  • Temporary assignments

  • Talent sharing across the organization

  • Job shadowing

  • Experiments

  • Failure

  • Getting out of the comfort zone.

  • You can learn how to structure experiences to boost results, growth and skills for the future, and coach others to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Self-awareness – it is important for you and your team to understand:

  • Your strengths, how they are used and underused, and how to apply them situationally. Strengths that are overdone can be just as detrimental as weaknesses.

  • How to grow not just performance but potential and readiness for future roles or tasks, up to two years out.

  • Their reputations, the perceptions others have that define success over and above one’s self-perception, such that this is incorporated into the learning process.

Ready to Learn – readiness to learn is often overlooked in the learning process. Billons are wasted every year because individuals aren’t ready to learn and the organization’s structure isn’t ready to provide key support in coaching, mentoring, deliberate practice, experimentation, and the developmental spiral (one step forward, two steps back, repeat until the new skill is achieved). Readiness has to do with:

  • An individual’s motivation

  • An identity prepared to learn new things

  • Readiness to change behavior

  • The confidence to learn/change.

All of these factors are individualized, which is why traditional group training has left so much to be desired.

Develops Continuously – this is helping your team learn the skills to:

  • Reflect (extracting learning to take to the next task)

  • Approach daily tasks with a learning mindset

  • Work from a daily development plan

  • Being willing to demonstrate new learning publicly

  • Having the skill to learn a new skill in the process of trying to accomplish a task.

Practices with intention – intentional learning is quite different from learning in the past. It is active engagement, which means:

  • Being fully present in the moment

  • Focusing specifically on weaker areas

  • Knowing how and when to practice a new skill

  • Know how to ask for developmental feedback and act on it

  • Knowing how to find the right opportunities to practice.

Practicing with intention is a method in and of itself.

Shares leaning freely – this is knowing how to share learning and teach others in a way that helps others learn. It:

  • Is more than the transmission of information.

  • Is teaching a point of view on a subject that connects to business strategy, such as customers or supplier chains, productivity, innovation, etc.

  • Relates success drivers of that learning, including others involved.

  • Incorporates knowledge of adult learning principles and storytelling skills.

  • Asks challenging questions to facilitate learning.

  • Asks reflection questions to enhance learning.

  • Answers audience questions.

When you work with Journey to Results, you learn more about how to build a team of successful learners.

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© 2018 by Annette Brackin, Journey to Results, LLC.