Editor’s Note: Bob Lewis is back, guest blogging for Sage. You can read Bob’s previous post here.
Your manager informs you that she is having a trainer come in and provide an all day workshop on “Improving Your Customer Service Skills.” She says that it is time for you to gain new skills and knowledge, improve your attitude and ultimately improve work performance in customer relations. You stop, reflect, ponder and probably are figuring out how you can get out of this opportunity. You check your sick leave and you have one day left. So what do you do? You suck it up and attend.
I love the word Andragogy-the art and science of helping adults learn. If we truly want to change training we need to focus on the most important piece. Who is most important? The learner is. Most trainers should know that learners are motivated by internal rather than external factors. So how should companies start thinking about future training opportunities for their employees over the next year and thereafter?
Here are some suggestions for taking charge of your professional development and learning:
- Take a free webinar then follow up with a short training and read a book to encourage yourself to implement ideas and new skills.
- Talk to your manager prior to pre-assigned workshops. Discuss your group and individual needs so you can develop a plan to improve and enhance work relations and performance. Only you know what internally motivates you. Remember the last blog—we discussed building on your strengths and managing your gaps.
- I love these 4 simple ways of activating and retaining learning: talk, move, laugh and write.
- Pay attention to how you learn. There are many ways to assess your learning style. A neurolinguistic profile is a cool way of assessing how you learn. You may be visual and can handle the traditional power point. If you are auditory, books on tape or a presentation without the visual is a preferred way of learning. If you’re kinesthetic like me—you want to be fully engaged, do group discussions and perhaps act out part of the learning. Paying attention to your learning style can really help you retain information—some say by at least 80%.
- Find an accountability partner (associate or friend) to ask you questions about your learning.
- Set some learning goals with timelines and specifics and watch yourself soar in your strength areas.
Who is in charge of learning? You are. Get started today. Learning has infinite power.