Tag Archives: learning

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energized action

Energized Action and Learning Something New

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It isn’t always about what we know. Often it is more about what we do with what we know. Do you have energized action?

We hear about it before the meeting, the workshop, or the conference breakout session.

I’m not attending because I already know that stuff.

That’s about as basic as it comes, I’m going to a different session.

These meetings are so boring, we always talk about the same stuff.

There is a difference between knowing and action. How you react to opportunities will often depend on how you look at them.

Open to Opportunity

Many people stop listening, often before they even start listening.

There are the stereotypes, biases, and the “set ways” that often keep people from learning more.

Our mindset and how we approach opportunities with differences depends on what happens next. What happens next is your action.

A coffee shop owner may have different business experience from the clock shop owner. One business author writes about finance, the other about marketing. The YouTuber gets a million hits from the skateboard event, another from an artistic display of human generosity.

Energized Action

When we block out new or different information, we set limits. We shelter and close the frame on our design. Having a frame can help us digest new or large volumes of information but never adjusting the frame will limit future outcomes.

Energized action comes from the willingness to adjust the frame. It comes from exploration, risk, and a propensity to see opportunity in differences.

You may feel like you already know it all. You may feel that you’ve mastered the craft. Yet, you may be surprised how things look through a different lens.

You want your next opportunity? You want energized action?

Give opportunity a chance.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace mentoring

Workplace Mentoring Should Be About Learning

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There are several choices we make during workplace mentoring. We can do only show and tell and encourage people to memorize the steps or we can invite them to learn more too.

Technically, there is a significant difference between mentoring and coaching. Although the words are often used synonymously, they are different. Professional coaches spend decades honing their craft, mentoring is different, it is much more about show and tell.

There is still plenty of opportunity for the mentee. An opportunity to learn more about the process and procedures, as well as developing a deeper understanding of the how, the why, and the purpose.

When employees connect with the sense of purpose, they are much more committed to their job role. Not only are they more motivated, they are also more loyal. 

Memorize or Learn?

People can memorize the lyrics to a song yet they don’t necessarily learn something new.

We often put things into our memory. We may memorize features about our car, the software we use, and the menu at the local diner.

All of this is not necessarily learning.

Learning is more involved. It was why you had to learn more about math and not just memorize your multiplication tables.

Workplace Mentoring and Learning

When workplace mentoring takes mentees to a more advanced level of learning, not just memorizing, it benefits everyone. Just like in math class, they may seek only the answers, but learning the how and why will help with knowledge transfer and inspire a commitment to action.

You may be a mentor or mentee, learning more will always provide a deeper and more impactful experience.

It is likely much more than just a job.

For everyone.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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educational illusion

Is an Educational Illusion Stopping You?

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It seems that there are always two sides. On one side people worry that they’re not enough and do nothing about it. And on the other, they never stop trying to prove their credibility. Are you suffering from an educational illusion?

It is quite simple really. People make decisions about the reasons why. They decide on the placement of blame.

Why you weren’t hired, promoted, or respected by peers. Many blame education, and throw their arms up in disgust, or are constantly enrolling in the next degree program.

Make no mistake that education matters. It matters a great deal and often, especially in an on-line World of “punched cards” coming up short can be problematic. If you can’t check the box, you’re not getting in.

A medical doctor isn’t going to be able to practice without the degree. A lawyer needs a degree and to pass the bar exam. Most university professors need a doctoral degree.

Educational Illusion

Outside of specific professions there is wiggle room. Some career opportunities, good paying ones, only require a high school diploma.

Which camp are you in?

Are you working hard, taking advantage of gaining experience while also exploring opportunities for additional education?

Or, perhaps you are working hard and have tried to explore advancement, yet have come up short? Are you convinced that the reason you didn’t advance was because of a lack of education?

In either case, additional credentials may not be the obstacle.

There are many cases where the advanced degree, the credential, the certificate, or the card punched is not the real obstacle.

Sometimes the real obstacle is a lack of persistence, determination, and courage.

Sometimes there is a difference between reality and where you place the blame.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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people learn

Making People Learn, Is That Possible?

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Is it possible to make people learn? Can learning be forced or is it more about people being self-motivated and self-directed?

Have you ever considered what the straight A student learned? What about attaining a 3.98 or 4.0 at the University? Have those students really learned?

The question sometimes comes down to, “Learned what?”

In many classroom curricula the savvy students figure out the way to get the perfect score. They are smart about navigating the educational environment.

Yet, have they really learned the material or just the material as it pertains to testing?

Experiential Learning

Many people bring up the concept of experiential learning.

Often, they connect this to hands-on learning. Sure, it may encompass hands on, yet experiential is really about reflection and experiencing the learning opportunity.

Experiential learning can occur with a case study, a screwdriver, or by clicking a mouse to apply different courses of action to a data set. It is nearly wide open. The key is that the learner is engaged and is reflective of the presenting opportunity.

The self-directed desire to learn may be much more reflective than the act of studying to get a good test score.

Making People Learn

Making people learn may be possible but what will the future outcomes hold? If the learning is not enticed with a desire to do more, be more, or build upon more, is there a point?

Is there a difference between the person who reads the book because there will be a test or the person who reads the book with an inquiring mind?

Will reading the book result in a grade or new knowledge? It could be both, but which would you place more value in, learning based on desire or because a grade will be given?

If you look around, kick up some dust, and stir the pot a little, you’ll likely find that the most successful people are lifelong learners.

Not because there will be an academic test when it is over, but because in life they want to be prepared for when they are tested.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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desirable learning

Desirable Learning and Workplace Impact

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Desirable learning is different from learning that is forced. Most workplace skills come from learning which results in competence. Is that competence attractive and desirable?

A good friend telephoned me yesterday. He often phones with philosophical questions. He is a hobbyist researcher, always seeking the facts (or a population to survey) to determine probable outcomes, answers, or solutions.

Yesterday his question was about motivation. He was trying to consider all angles of motivation and especially how it helps determine career paths. His work is always interesting to me.

Workplace Impact and Careers

When it comes to workplace learning, organization development, and career paths it often boils down to motivation. Motivation to learn a new skill, up your game, and do better work. Arguably some of that motivation may be based on desire.

Can you learn to be a salesperson, an accountant, or a graphic designer?

Can you learn to be a computer network technician? What about being a Python coder?

Do people learn how to be a good manager, vice-president, or CEO?

Is learning based on desire to perform the work?

People often discuss talent. You may hear someone suggest that the painter, musician, or actress is very talented. Did those skills come naturally or did they practice their craft over and over again until they honed their skills above the average?

If they developed that talent, what compelled them to devote so much energy to that development?

Desirable Learning

In your workplace or connected to your career is opportunity. Sure, there may be some lucky opportunities here and there, yet you have to appropriately manage your luck.

The best way to manage any opportunity is to be prepared. You develop the skills and competency to be both proactive and reactive to your environment through learning.

Do you believe you could learn to paint on canvas? Can you learn to become a Python coder? What about being a chef, a welder, or an FBI agent? Can you learn these things?

The question is, “Do you want to do it?”

We often limit ourselves, or not, based on our own desires. Desire may be driven by self-efficacy, feedback, or personal interests.

It is probably safe to say that most people can learn nearly anything.

Do they find the opportunity desirable?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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something new

Try Something New, That’s Learning!

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Are you interested to try something new? Are you the first one to taste the unknown dish at the picnic or try the unknown from the menu?

At the dinner event hors d’oeuvres are often served. The well-trained staff will likely explain the dish, the teenage volunteer will just hold it out in your space to see if you’ll take the plunge.

Fresh seafood in North Dakota may be risky, but the beef is probably a safe bet.

Exploration helps us learn. It may also be known as research.

Learning Moments

Many people will learn from mistakes. Yet sometimes they keep doing the same thing over and over. The fear of the unknown seems greater than the risk of the consequences of bad moves.

It may feel like there is safety in the known. Other times, the last thing we want is the known.

Hiring managers often have a choice between internal candidates and external candidates. It is common that they know the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the internal possibilities. Yet they are more interested to risk an outsider who they’ve spent an hour or two with during an interview.

When it comes to change, we often want safety.

Very few people are convinced that when they jump, the net will appear.

Something New

It is risk that we may evaluate incorrectly.

At the meeting, the risk of speaking up seems more threatening than the risk of watching the team make another wrong turn. You can help, or offer alternatives, but you may retreat to a place of safety.

Fear of separation may be a root cause, which then leads to action anxiety and ultimately negative fantasies. You assess the situation and become convinced that the worst outcome will result. It’s too risky.

Trying something new may be the exact thing that is holding you back.

Don’t make the same mistakes over and over. Give up some safety for calculated risk.

That’s how we learn.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace knowledge

Workplace Knowledge and What You Don’t Know

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Have you ever thought about what you don’t know? When you hear new information do you consider it, or quickly disregard it? Workplace knowledge is often about learning what you don’t know.

A shopper, backing her car from a parking spot taps the bumper of another car because she didn’t realize it was there.

The person in the restaurant with barbeque sauce on the side of his face doesn’t know it.

Hurried, a businessman dresses in a dark room before leaving home to board a predawn flight. He is wearing one blue sock and one black.

Knowing what we don’t know can be helpful. Yet this concept sometimes eludes workplace professionals.

What You Don’t Know

Are you quick to disregard the new information? Do you find yourself disagreeing with suggested best practices of other professionals?

An attorney gives you advice and you ignore it.

The architect claims you’ll never be able to heat it or cool it, you say, “Build it anyway.”

A marketing consultant suggests your new ad campaign has flaws you say, “Launch it, it will work.”

Making your own way in life can be valuable and important. Disregarding professional advice may be why you are stuck.

Workplace Knowledge

Two things get many people in trouble, their ego and being overconfident.

In carpentry, we know you should, “Measure twice, cut once.”

In listening, we recognize that, “You have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.”

When your company makes an investment in your continued learning don’t expect that you already know it all. Your ego and overconfidence may be exactly why you’ve been invited in the first place.

You have barbeque sauce on your cheek and you should change your socks.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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professional seminars

Professional Seminars, Sit Through It or Grow?

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Continuous learning, lifelong learning, what is your approach to professional seminars? Some of the approaches I hear are comical.

If I have to sit through it, you’re going to sit through it too.

I’ll sit through it, but I probably have more important things to do.

I don’t think I need this but I’ll sit through if it makes everyone happy.

Sit through it?

I’ve heard these and dozens more as training is being organized or as people assemble for the event. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, “What kind of attitude is that?”

Fear of History Repeating

Then I remember. I remember sitting through slide after slide of someone reciting the work of someone else. I remember the endless barrage of slide decks with words, paragraphs, and executive summaries you are expected to read. In another unfortunate twist the presenter will read it for you.

It doesn’t stop there; we also have charts. Not a simple pie chart or bar graph but five years of key indicators data that is in font size 8 or 10. Huh?

Participants have a choice. A choice about sitting through that or doing something better. The presenters have a choice also. Their choice is about what and how they’ll present.

Professional Seminars

Just this week I presented three different seminars in three different towns. I heard and felt some of the grumbles and groans before the start.

When finished, I welcomed and appreciated the handshakes and kind comments. I am always grateful and sometimes humbled by the generosity of eager and inspired participants. It is my biggest reward.

My suggestion is not new, but still relevant. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or in this case don’t judge a seminar before it starts.

Most people don’t care for just sitting around. Professional seminars will inspire you to grow.

As a participant you have a choice. You can come prepared to just sit through it, or you can come prepared to grow through it.

There is a saying which I don’t know who to give credit. It goes something like this, “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

-DEG


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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lifelong learner

Are You a Lifelong Learner? Are you sure?

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Are you always learning, growing, and developing or do you feel you’ve learned enough? Is there a bias or stereotype towards those who are still learning? Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner?

I sat through the workshop but it was stuff I already knew.

At 38 years of age, she is finishing her degree. She is still a student.

If I have a choice between shipping product or sitting in training the answer is easy. Ship!

Do you believe that there may be a bias or stereotype about lifelong learners?

Obstacles and Barriers

One factor that makes people hesitant about the seminar or continuing education is the fear that it shows incompetence. The thought is, “If I suggest I need more training I must not be capable of doing my job.”

Non-traditional college students may struggle with stereotypes. They may have been in the workforce for years, yet they are still in the classroom. The thought is, “No degree, they must not be knowledgeable enough.”

There are other obstacles and barriers. There is the pressure to produce, ship, and serve customers. Certainly, that is a high priority. The mindset often becomes, “There isn’t enough time for training and development.”

Are you willing to break down these barriers? Are you interested in rising to the occasion beating the odds and the social stereotyping? Do you place value on continuous learning?

Lifelong Learner

Experience is extremely valuable. Coupled with a structured learning environment that is professionally facilitated participants can shave years off the learning curve. Time is always money.

There is another benefit. Lifelong learners tend to be lifelong networkers.

They build stronger relationships through shared experiences. Their connections are more than a LinkedIn number, a Facebook friend, or a glance at a Twitter feed.

What has learning done for you? Are you brave enough to continue?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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personal growth learning

Why Personal Growth Learning Is Worthwhile

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Are you open to learning new things? Are you curious about the latest and greatest or would you rather stick with the tried and true? Personal growth learning may be the most important thing for your life and career.

Worthwhile Learning

As a freshman in high school I thought I wanted to become a mechanic. I loved working with tools, twisting wrenches, putting stuff together and tearing things apart.

Not so long ago, I was digging around in an old box and discovered a test I took in the eighth or ninth grade. The results chart indicated that I was well above the averages in mechanical aptitude.

All these years later I found that very interesting. There were a few other surprises too.

Today the biggest surprise is that I still apply so many skills that I developed at that very young age. I can fix and repair many small engines, do much of the work on my vehicles, and even unclog the vacuum cleaner. Handy.

Things have changed a lot, and sometimes I feel like I’m back at the beginning. Vulnerable, nervous, and afraid, but I know the long-term reward of learning is worth the fumbling and bumbling I go through at first.

Personal Growth Learning

Today the pace of technology is great. People are referencing things like Industry 4.0 and using the acronym IoT. The pace of change has been rapidly accelerating since the birth of many baby boomers.

Are you into personal growth learning or would you rather avoid the frustration? Learning something new means we’re at the beginning. We’re entry level, the lack of skill makes staying the same feel easier, safer, better.

Many people get to a point where learning feels like a lot of work, an unnecessary hassle. We’ve learned to live, and year after year, we’re reminded that we’re still surviving.

People sometimes decide that learning something new just isn’t worth it.

They feel stupid during the first stages of the process and that is frustrating, maybe even embarrassing. So instead, they chose not to engage.

What many quickly fail to recognize is that what they spend a half hour on learning today, may be the building block for something they’ll use for the rest of their life.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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