We learn all the time.
As kids, we learn the basics in language, math and sciences. As adults, we continue to refine our knowledge base, and add to it – learning all about the world around us, people’s behaviours, social norms, and the complexities of everyday life. No small feat.
I define learning as an “observable change in behaviour”. Observable in the sense that in can result in the change in behaviour, thinking, perception, specific action, or otherwise. When we learn, we evolve – and change.
Our ability to learn is in part coded in us from our genetics, and in part from our envirionment, particularly our own sense of committment, engagement and motivation. If you want to learn, you most likely will succeed. And the reverse is true…ever try to teach a child something simple that they refuse to learn about? What happens?
As people, we must be receptive to learning, if we expect for it to actually take place. And not just learning in the formal sense, like we did at school…but learning all around us, in our everyday lives, and in our work. This is key to our success.
But from there, we must go the distance to learn new skills and hone our knowledge, if we want to continue to succeed at our work, no matter what our work is. Be comfortable in admitting in you don’t know something, but then learn it. And fast. This is they key to success.
The absolute worst thing you can do is pretend you know something specific, when you don’t. It’s a far cry from demonstrating confidence, to actually lying about what you know. I don’t expect my employees to know everything, but I certainly don’t expect them to lie about what they don’t know! My expectation is that they remain open to the idea of learning new things, and trying to work in different ways. In this regard, I have a truly stellar team of employees!!
Take, for example, the constant changes in technology. It is impossible to keep up with all of the new gadgets, software and social platforms. But we must remain open and engaged to learning new stuff, so we can adapt to new ways of doing things. Can you imagine your life today without an iPhone? Think of how reliant we all are on emails and text messages. And now consider that the first generation of the iPhone was only recently introduced to market in 2007!
Our ability and willingness to learn new things have brought about wonderful changes in our every day lives, and in our work.
We just have to be willing to embrace it.