Improving Your Learning

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Sections of this topic

    Improving Your Learning

    The focus of the Library is on resources for personal, professional
    and organizational development. At the core of these is personal
    development. Without personal development, it’s difficult to sustain
    professional and organizational development.

    Sections in This Topic Include

    Are You Learning Everyday?
    Learn, Grow, Lead: Stand Out In the Crowd
    Various Perspectives About Personal Development

    Customize a Personal Training Plan

    Also consider
    Related Library Topics

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Personal Development

    In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs
    that have posts related to Personal Development. Scan down the blog’s page to
    see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the
    sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in
    the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

    Career Management Blog
    Spirituality in
    the Workplace
    and Development Blog

    Are You Learning Everyday?

    © Copyright Marcia Zidle

    Jack Nichlaus was asked if there are really talented golfers who never make
    it. “Oh, hundreds of them”, he replied. “A lot of people out
    there are more talented than I am and yet, through the years, I’ve passed
    them by. That’s because I never was satisfied with my game. I was learning
    new shots every single day.”

    It’s up to you to make sure you are continually improving, growing, and
    learning every day. It’s up to you to make sure you never go out of style!
    It’s up to you to take charge of your professional development. Here’s

    1. Have a learning perspective.

    Be on the lookout for teachable moments. Approach each learning experience,
    whether you want to be there or not, with the questions: What can I learn? What
    one or two things can I take away that I can use immediately? Who else would
    find value in this learning?

    2. Benchmark your skills periodically.

    Do it at least once a year. For those in a fast moving profession or industry
    every three months may be required. In other words, what’s in your work
    portfolio? Is it filled with skills or competencies that are up-to-date and
    sought after? Or, is it filled with skills which are obsolete and not very portable?

    3. Create a learning plan.

    Pinpoint specific skills and knowledge that you need to acquire or up-grade.
    Then identify the professional development activities that are available to
    you. They can include mentor relationships, special assignments at work, in-house
    and public seminars, professional conferences, on-line courses, university education,
    books, journals, blogs, etc.

    Are you learning every day?

    I hope so. If not, you may find yourself a professional dinosaur…out of touch,
    out of skills and out of work. Just as a company invests in its own research
    and development, you need to invest in your own career growth and development.
    Remember, as you never outgrow your need for milk, you never outgrow your need
    for professional development.

    Learn, Grow, Lead: Stand Out In the Crowd

    © Copyright Marcia Zidle

    Is Experience the Best Teacher?

    Yes, says The Center for Creative Leadership. Their research found that a variety
    of challenging assignments contribute greatly to the building and seasoning
    of new and emerging leaders.

    However, not all challenges are equal. The ones that will enhance leadership
    skills are those that:

    Require working with new people or high variety or time pressures.
    Call for influencing people with no or limited direct authority or control.
    Involve building a team, starting something from scratch or solving a problem.
    Demand a “take charge” attitude, quick learning, coping with uncertain

    Choose Your Challenges Wisely

    It’s not necessary to change one’s job to build leadership capabilities.
    Rather be on the lookout for or request these kinds of assignments, projects
    or tasks. They are developmental. In other words, they will help you learn,
    grow and lead more effectively.

    1. Be part of a task force on a pressing business problem
    2. Handle a negotiation with a customer
    3. Present proposal report to top management
    4. Work short periods in other units or departments
    5. Plan an off site, meeting or conference
    6. Serve on a new project / product review committee
    7. Manage the visit of a VIP
    8. Go off-site to troubleshoot problems
    9. Take a board position at a community organization
    10. Be part of the company’s trade show booth team
    11. Redesign a work process with another function
    12. Resolve conflict among warring subordinates
    13. Take over a troubled project and get it back on track
    14. Manage projects requiring coordination across the organization
    15. Supervise assigned office space in a new building
    16. Spend a day with customers and write report
    17. Do postmortem on a failed project
    18. Evaluate the impact of training
    19. Write a proposal for a new system, product, etc.
    20. Interview outsiders on their view of the organization

    Pick one or two of the above professional development assignments that would
    help you develop your leadership capabilities now.

    Career Success Tip

    You learn on the job every day. But are you learning what you really need to
    learn to develop your leadership and advance your career? It’s up to you
    to make sure you’re continually improving, growing and learning. It’s
    up to you to take charge of your professional development.

    Various Perspectives

    Recommended Articles

    Self Development

    Driving Higher Levels of Performance on the Corporate Racetrack:
    Finish First

    Additional Articles

    Personal Development

    Your Values and Morals

    Complete, Online Self-Help

    Leadership Knowledge
    Base: Information to Improve Your Leadership Skills.

    CareerLab: 700-page career,
    outplacement, HR megasite

    Fired: An Opportunity for Change and Growth

    Good Personal Growth Quotes
    Your Personal Vision Statement: The Beginning of Your Future

    Driving Higher Performance
    Tool — The Power of Vision

    Why Johnny Can’t Do the Four Cs
    A Look at the Education vs Experience Debate
    Twelve Lessons I Learned (or Re-Learned) This Year Part I
    Twelve Lessons I Learned (or Re-Learned) This Year Part II
    Twelve Lessons I Learned (or Re-Learned) This Year Part III
    Final- The Twelve Lessons I Learned (Or Re-learned) in 2011
    The Worst and Best Degrees: A Bunch of Bunk!
    What does make-up have to do with HR?
    Leadership IDP
    Practice til You Make It
    Becoming a Peak Performing Leader Through Flow

    Also consider


    in Courses

    Group Learning
    to Study
    Terms in Learning

    Your Learning
    Your Thinking
    Learning Styles


    of Learning
    Study Guides


    For the Category of Personal Development:

    To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
    want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
    Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

    Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been
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