Leaders should never stop learning. They should never stop teaching, coaching and mentoring others.
I love that about what we do. Why? We help leaders learn to be the best they can be. How? By doing. We might teach, coach, mentor, facilitate and educate – but we also show them, make them practice, have discussions and reflection, help them put their new skills and learnings into action and give the confidence to go out there and make it happen! Adult educators tell us that adults learn best by doing. They absorb the learning best by having to apply it, which is why on-the-job training has been so popular in workplaces.
How can leaders take that information and apply it to working with their teams, particularly during a time of change? We know that simply telling people what they need to know is not effective. It is unlikely they will engage with the learning nor remember it.
First we need to consider what we are asking learners to do. Steven Novella said “It takes mental energy to pay attention, to know where to focus your attention, and to process the information being presented. You can really only do one thing at a time, so while you are thinking about the information just given, you may miss the next bit of information.”
Then we need to consider how information is remembered. New information needs to create new connections in the brain and to do that, it’s necessary to repeat the information over and over so the new pathway becomes solid. The more practice and reinforcement the learning has, the faster and quicker the pathway will be developed. Practice does not always mean “doing” something; it can also include talking about it and visualising.
As a leader that means you need to do two things:
1. Introduce new information or process in a logical sequence and in logical chunks.
2. Provide an opportunity for discussion
Our ability to focus and concentrate for lengths of time is limited so the best choice is to design learning so it can be presented to your team in short bursts which include lots of discussion and/or practice time.
Adults learn by doing but they also learn by talking about doing or even picturing themselves doing.
Can you see how you might apply this approach to sharing information with your own team? Think you can? Share it with us, we’d love to hear your thoughts!
About Sonia McDonald
Sonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.
Connect with Sonia at:
1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616