It’s Back to School – For All of Us!
Morag Barrett, August 28, 2017
This year has flown past. Only yesterday we were considering our New Year Resolutions, then in the blink of an eye, it was summer. Now here we are, poof! It’s the start of fall and back-to-school fever is upon us.
My three boys are headed back to school, two at university and the youngest entering his junior year of high school. As I packed them off with words of wisdom, questions about what they were excited to learn (nothing), and how they were going to approach their studies (I don’t know), I paused. It’s easy to focus on their learning needs, as students it’s a given, but what about my learning plan? Where should I be investing in my development? How are you doing with your learning plan?
Whether it’s a new school year, new month, or new week, there is a great opportunity to focus on learning to ensure success in your role, career, and life. Here are a few questions you may wish to consider to help you focus on where to invest in your own development:
- What have you done in the past that has worked well? How can you leverage this strength and take it from good to great?
- What achievements are you most proud of and why? How can you recognize and celebrate these?
- What didn’t work out for you, and why? Which new or improved skills would enhance your work and life performance?
- What new skills or knowledge would you like to develop (dare I say for fun)?
- What is your learning focus going to be? What might get in the way of you achieving your learning goals? How will you overcome those roadblocks?
In addition to your own reflection, another way to improve learning is to actively seek feedback. This can be from managers, peers, colleagues and family. There is no such thing as bad feedback. It’s all about taking advantage of the learning opportunity, rather than viewing feedback in a negative light. So I dare you, don’t just consider your personal learning plan – seek input from others. What do they see as your development need in the next few months?
In my experience, learning is best done with others and certainly best shared with others, consider it a contact sport. Here are a few final questions as you consider your learning plan:
- What have you learned that has helped you and could help others?
- How could this learning, knowledge or experience be shared?
If you pursue a strategy of learning and improvement for yourself, it might even encourage those around you to do the same thing. Imagine the possibilities!