A successful employee is distinguished by the capacity to handle the demands of his or her job, by the ability to master complex new tasks, and by a talent for creating innovative solutions to challenging new assignments. He or she also is marked by a capacity for adapting to changing circumstances. A good employee is distinguished by — although it never is phrased in quite this way — his or her ability to learn.
What sparks individual learning? What, exactly, is it that triggers a man or woman’s self-directed learning efforts? For instance, an acquaintance of mine is working hard to become adept at karate. What is it that moves her to put in hours and hours of practice? A close friend is struggling night after night, and often on weekends, to improve the way in which he instructs, manages and evaluates the people who work for him. What is it that moves him to sacrifice like this? My son, Michael, is passionate in his effort to learn how to become a great
Learning to behave differently is difficult. Especially when you are trying to become more effective, or more satisfied with what you do at work or at home. These places constitute your real world — high-stakes arenas in which, research shows, it is very risky to try changing the way you have always been.
In part, this difficulty arises because each of us holds, deep inside ourselves, countless sets of ground rules for the behavior
In a thousand different ways, each of us, every day, is surrounded by learning opportunities. It is as if we were living in a rainstorm of opportunities. For example, each time we sit in front of our computers, we have the opportunity to learn how to use them more creatively. Or, each time we prepare a meal, we have the opportunity to learn how to cook healthier or tastier dishes. Each time we chat with a friend, we have the opportunity to learn how to enjoy his friendship a little more, or to give him more support arid deeper understanding. Every moment,
The 21st Century continues to build some impressive momentum that seemingly is pushing us all towards truly radical socio-economic changes and dramatic technological transformations. Deanna Kuhn, Angela Pfaffenberger, and Jane Pizzolato are but three of the many adult learning experts who are convinced the 20th Century’s traditional student-teacher approach to education is no longer an effective way for any of us to learn how best to respond to the challenges the 21st Century is mounting against most of what each of us thinks we know about life, and the worlds we’re living in.