The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Five MORE Tips to Unleash Learning Potential AND Expansion

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, August 13, 2018
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Perhaps you remember this modern-day hero: In 2009, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger made a water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River off Manhattan after the plane was disabled by striking a flock of Canada geese immediately after takeoff; all 155 people aboard survived. The survival of all people was remarkable in aviation history.

In subsequent interviews, Sullenberger said he never stopped training. How easy it is to take a course, pass an exam and conclude “there’s nothing more I need to learn. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

What we know and do today can always be expanded to take in new methods, new information, better practices. I consider this “learning expansion” which is a core component to the resiliency skill of adaptability.

Here are five more ways to unleash learning potential AND expansion:

  1. Peer-to-peer learning.  Information shared among peers is a low-cost, natural way of increasing knowledge. Years ago, at the National Speakers Association annual meeting, I started a community group called “Mac Users”. The concept was that all interested parties came with their latest-and-greatest insights into the Mac world. They came with how-to questions as well as here’s-what-you-do-when ideas. “Each one. Teach one” was our mantra. What started out with maybe 15 people has grown to over 150. We maintain a Yahoo chatgroup, Macspeakers, that allows colleagues to post questions and receive answers through the year.  Simple to set up and very valuable.

  2. Gamification. Even adults like games if, in fact, there’s a valuable outcome besides just “playing”.  From negotiation skills to customer service, from communication to leadership, an abundance of training tools is available and can be modified to meet your needs. Here is but one online resource

  3. Conferences. Today, industry-specific conferences and associations are working even harder to give great value and ROI to attendees. The learning can come from keynote speakers and breakouts, but just as important, is the opportunity to share with people who are not part of one’s everyday network.

  4. Mentoring. Look around your organization or industry. Is there someone who has wisdom and experience that could become a MENTOR?  This is a long-term relationship and requires time on the part of both parties. Mutual respect, awareness of time constraints, and follow-through all determine the successful outcome of mentoring.

  5. Coaching. Although coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference. Coaching is more directive and performance/behavior based. A good coach actually works herself out of a job when the client achieves goals. A mentoring relationship may last a life time.Coaching can also be skill based. I serve some clients as a speech coach, helping them in the writing and delivery of a presentation. It is a contracted piece of work. Mentoring is done from by a handshake and often continues as a personal friendship.

So, as we approach the last weeks of summer, consider just what learning goals you might have in mind.  Growth is always possible. As Martin Luther said, “When you rest, you rust.”

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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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