We say goodbye to one year as the ball drops and ushers in the next. The New Year allows us to stop, look back on the year that was, and reflect on what took place. What did we learn? What could we have done without learning? What do we hope to learn moving forward? These are all valuable questions to ask yourself if you’re someone who wants to build a learner’s mentality.
Some people embrace a learning mindset better than others. Of course, everyone needs to learn, but a desire to learn is something we might need to work on developing. And these 7 ways are a good place to start as you become an avid learner.
- Look to Collaborate – People who want to grow should surround themselves with people who can help facilitate that. Forward-thinking leaders in numerous industries have said they try to surround themselves with more intelligent people to make them better at their roles. Your manager can be a vital asset to your growth, but also look outside your immediate circle for people who lead in different departments or have different focuses.
- Seek to Listen – When was that last time you learned something when you weren’t listening? Listening is particularly important when in larger group settings because you need to block out the white noise and focus on what’s being shared with you. In a situation where you might disagree with someone’s point of view, you’d be amazed at what you’d learn if you went into the discussion with an open mind.
Speaking of which…
- Remain Open – It seems that every topic is up for debate nowadays, and each side vehemently disagrees with the other. Learn to really listen about new ways of doing things or going about a process. You might have a great solution you’ve come up with to address something, but someone else might have a good one too. Stay open to other ideas as they can only improve your thought process.
- Take Risks – In the workplace, this tactic can be terrifying. However, if you’re a smart professional looking to learn, these risks will be calculated with the prospect of enhancing your growth. Every success story comes with a trail of risks that preceded it. As long as this is done thoughtfully, you will only learn and grow from taking smart risks.
- Value Mistakes – With risk-taking comes mistake-making. It’s a part of growth and development. It’s how you respond to mistakes that encourages your level of learning. The result of any mistake is growth if you come out of the mistake with a learner’s mindset and a promise not to make the same one again, instead learning from the outcome.
- Celebrate Growth – Reflect on the growth you’ve experienced every quarter, bi-annually, or yearly. And it isn’t just about the growth you’ve Take a look at other colleagues and the lessons they’ve learned over a year and apply them to your situation whenever applicable.
- Take Your Time – Don’t force mistakes or concepts. Instead, let things and thoughts happen organically. As you create solutions or develop ideas, you’ll travel down a road filled with lessons to learn. Allow yourself to experience the challenges, the wins, or the hardships as they come. If you race by them, you’ll miss out on the chance to learn.
Think of the people in your life who have taught you valuable professional lessons. A genuine ability to learn comes from the knowledge of those around you. Based on what you witness in the workplace, this molds your decision-making ability.
How do you work on developing a learning mindset? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out How to Spot a Strong Mentorship Program.