pathway to enlightenment
By pa360, Jan 20 2015 06:22AM
Learning is incredibly empowering and enabling. We learn every time we go through a new experience; triumph over adversity and show resilience in the face of disappointment. We also learn remotely, even vicariously, by observing others. Learning is a life tool and a survival skill. What we acquire through learning can be exploited to create opportunities for oneself and others. The need to learn reveals a fundamental truth about us as individuals, which is that we do not know it all - whether we think we do or not.
To learn you first have to be open to learning, to be open to learning you first have to accept that you still have something to learn. Sounds straightforward doesn't it? Well it is and it isn't. Sometimes our need to be right is the biggest barrier to our learning and development. I remember many years ago working with a particular senior company executive, whose aversion to correction was almost pathological. This individual needed to be right so much that they would go out of their way to it make it clear, that others needed to be wrong. Therefore, instead of becoming increasingly knowledgeable and informed, they became largely ignorant; nourished by the vanity of their own ego.
If there is a 'moral' in that particular story it is that one should never take oneself too seriously. We know what we know, the rest we can but only guess at. A persons need to be right all the time, says much about what is fundamentally wrong with them, not what is right with them.
Another key factor in acquiring learning is who to learn from. This is where you need to be really careful. I remember a dear colleague of mine who nearly lost her job after she fell into the company of those more interested in furthering their agendas than her career. Instead, seek out those who have your concerns at heart, whom you can speak to openly, whose judgement you respect and whose input you value. That way, you will have two or three people to bounce your ideas off. Another thing to keep in mind is that perspectives are diverse and wide-ranging. As such, a learning opportunity can come from almost anywhere.
Also, think about the kind of learner you are. Are you the sort of person who acquires information on the basis of what you want to hear or what you need to know. If it is the former, then you are likely to stumble from crisis to crisis as such a person will find it difficult to correct unproductive or harmful behaviours. By contrast the need to know approach is more likely to provide a more robust learning platform.