This is part of an extended management course. You can dip into it, or follow the course from the start. If you do that, you may want a course notebook, for the exercises and any notes you want to make.
- Why do you need to learn?
- What do you need to learn?
- How will you learn?
- What will you do with the knowledge if you do learn?
These four excellent questions put us in mind of Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT System for learning – a model that will help you answer the ‘How will you learn?’ question. But let’s start at the beginning: Why?
The true answer to ‘why learn?’ will always be ‘because you can; because it is human nature to; and because learning is a joyous process.’ But I am guessing many readers will be more specifically career-focused. You may be a new manager, perhaps hoping for a promotion, perhaps wanting a new role.
Exercise 1: Why Learn
Look at at the previous blog post, Career Development, and then ask yourself: ‘What is my purpose in embarking on job-related learning?’ Write your answers in your notebook.
Exercise 2: What to Learn
To determine what you most need to learn, conduct a SWOT analysis. Take a cold critical view of your personal strengths and weaknesses. Then look at the opportunities ahead of you and the threats that may set you back. Compare your strengths and weaknesses with the opportunities and threats and, from that, determine your learning priorities.
Exercise 3: How to Learn
It seems likely that we all have our preferred learning styles: reading and analysis, experimentation and playing, reflecting on experiences. Think about a time when you learned most easily and comfortably. What were you doing then? This is possibly a good starting point for designing a learning process that will work for you.