Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Six Simple Questions about Learning

Our world keeps changing and we need to continuously adapt to change. There is a process through which we adapt to change, and that process has a name, and that name is learning. Today, let’s boil this topic down to six simple questions about learning.

6. What is learning?
Learning is not what they teach you, learning is what you get out of it, right? As we shift our focus from teaching to learning, suddenly it’s an ‘aha’ moment: learning doesn’t have to be confined to formal education, it can be everywhere.

5. When do we learn?
Do we learn only during the childhood?  Hardly.  The fact is that learning is a lifelong process.  

4. Where do we learn?
Learning happens everywhere and it particularly happens when you least expect it. Life is always trying to teach us something and we are ignoring it for the most part, because we’re not mindful about it. Every experience, good or bad, should be an occasion to stop, think, and reflect. That is how we convert experience into learning.  

3. How do we learn?
People learn in many different individual ways: reading, listening, writing, teaching, talking to oneself, doing, observing, and so forth.  It is important for us to recognize our most natural learning style.

2. Who Learns?
Yes, you read that right.  Who is it that learns? On the face of it, it looks like a silly question. Obviously, individuals learn. But then, if you look deeper, in any organization, the whole system is learning. Teams of people develop tools, processes and work methods that help teams to get better and better at working together.

1. Now the final question: why is learning so important?
Learning helps you cope with uncertainty and it actually helps us adapt to change that’s occurring around us. It’s something essential for professional growth. We can grow to a certain level in any setup by following the rules. Beyond that level, we have to demonstrate adaptability, and that’s when all the learning DNA that we may have comes really handy.  To another point, there is something about the structure of our brain. If we don’t use its neurons and synapses, we begin to lose them. We can therefore say that learning keeps us young.

So here is wishing you happy and fruitful learning!