A close friend of mine was asking me on Friday what I had learned this week. To be honest I found the question out of the blue and out of context from what we had been talking about. Even with the knowledge that she is a fellow learning professional that is focused on employee development didn’t make it sound anymore relevant.
As I stammered trying to understand what the heck she was asking, I started recalling everything I had done wrong and what I would do differently the next time if presented with a similar circumstance. She replied that reviewing our failures is a part of the process, but she wanted me to focus on things I had learned to apply, to which I replied, Huh?
For 20+ years I’ve been promoting learning to others in my role as a trainer, designer, performance consultant and even as a CLO. Heck, I have created and nurtured several learning organizations and learning environments and preach the gospel of everyone should be a continual learner. So when asked what I learned this week I took it for granted it must have been something.
My friend suggested I keep a journal of what I learned and how I learned it. Nothing fancy, in fact I am just using a pad of paper. By the end of the day I had written down 10 thoughts, insights and things that occurred to me as possibly useful to someone. I then found myself sending off two emails before the end of the day that took some of this new knowledge and put it to work for a couple of clients. By the end of the day I was actually surprised by what I learned, and the variety of ways I was picking up the information.
This week I am planning to keep this journal up; if only to send my friend one whopper of a list this Friday! It would seem I am a constant learner, but I was very out of touch with what I had been learning. I also realized that sharing things I had learned was probably more important because it was knowledge I was applying.
So if you are game to trying this exercise, plan yourself a weekly task to share something you learned. Post a comment each week about something you learned, and remember to tell us how we can apply it in our lives. If it is a blog, pod spot, or website, include the link so we can all get the information first hand. And if you try something out from a comment in this blog, tell us how it worked for you.