1. Learn about your learning
We love learning. We love learning about learning. And we love sharing what we know. In today's fast-paced, rapidly changing world, we all need to learn to keep up with new developments; new ideas; new ways of doing things.
One of the key ingredients in successful learning is to understand our learning styles and preferences.
- How you take in information
- How you process new ideas
- How you communicate and share ideas
- How you teach others
- How you put learning into practice
- How you learn from what you put into practice
Some of us love reading and writing. Others love watching and talking. Knowing how we prefer to take in, and share, information makes it easier to learn.
And it's not just the 'how'; it's the 'where' too. Some people love learning in large groups. Others feel more comfortable in small. In face-to-face situations. In distance learning.
Some people think that learning is very topic-specific. Some subjects are naturally 'easier' than others. This isn't necessarily so. You may find numbers easy to handle. Other people take more time to get familiar with numerical or financial topics.
Our recommendation is that you keep a journal, a diary, or other record of your learning journeys. In this way you'll become increasingly familiar with your learning preferences - so that you can go with the flow of what comes naturally to you. And, we recommend that those topics you feel less comfortable with, you give more time, energy and focus to.
This may mean creating an environment that supports your focus too. Sometimes you'll prefer one environment. And other times you want to ring the changes.
The 40 second rule
Remember when your parents told you to count to 10 when you got angry? That's because the primitive (lizard) brain takes 6 seconds into triggering flight or fight hormones in the body. So by counting to ten we're taking back control over our primitive brains.
The 40 second rule is about giving your brain time to absorb new ideas and rehearse them in your brain. Yes, it takes time to listen, watch and read about new ideas. Equally important is the time we invest in rehearsing those new ideas in our heads. In 40 seconds, if we rehearse and reflect on a new idea or piece of learning, we'll start the brain connections (synaptic connections) that will build into confident knowledge on any topic.
And yes, older people can learn too. Our brains are plastic, which means that, even if we lose a memory we can regain it. Yes, it takes older people longer to 'get' and embed new learning - but it's definitely possible. And once we 'get' the learning, we can start to build those synaptic connections by turning first application into routine habits.
Who, what, where, when, why
When you've sorted out your preferences - what you want to learn, where and with whom, when probably comes naturally.
And the 'why' is vital. Knowing why you're learning something can really help shape your focus and energy.
- To improve your career chances
- To keep up to date in a technical area
- To improve your communication or relationship skills
- To make that fabulous speech at your best friend's wedding
Knowing why is a great motivator to success. It's about your values - at work, at home, with family or friends. What's important to you. And yes, sometimes it's about what's important to your boss or your spouse. And understanding that is good too.
Being clear on these points will support your learning. So we recommend you add these notes into your journal too.
What you already know
At the start of each section in your Learning Centre, you'll be asked to reflect on, and write down, what you already know about that topic. Upload this to the documents in your Learning Centre and this becomes the base-line for your future learning. Of course, as you go through the topic, you'll realise that you already knew a lot more than what you wrote down - which is great.
Building on existing understanding and knowledge is the best platform for learning new things.
2. Materials to support you
In your Learning Centre documents you'll find a Sample Journal, a Personal Development Plan and a 'What I already Know' sheet. Feel free to download and use these to support your learning and development. Save them with your name and update them regularly. Share them with your colleagues, tutor or coach - it's up to you. These are resources and materials to support your learning.
3. More support
You can contact us at any time for more support - whether that's course content-related or logistics. We commit to getting back to you within 48 hours.
Course Content - contact
Logistics - contact - firstname.lastname@example.org