Role of Learners in Training and Development

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    Role of Learners in Training and Development

    © Copyright Carter McNamara,
    MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC

    Learning is Ultimately the Learner’s Responsibility

    Regardless of the situation, learning is ultimately the individual’s responsibility.
    Learning will not succeed unless the individual feels a strong sense of ownership
    and responsibility in the process itself. The best forms of learning involve
    the complete individual, including his or her approach to personal organization
    and wellness.

    To Learn, You Must Be Willing to Grow, to Experience

    Learning often involves new skills, developing new behaviors.
    After many years of classroom education, it’s easy for us to take
    a course where all we must do is attend each meeting, take notes
    and pass tests — and call this learning. One can complete a Masters
    in Business Administration (MBA), but unless they’re willing to
    actually apply new information, they’ll most likely end
    up with an office full of unreferenced textbooks and a head full
    of data, but little knowledge and wisdom. For the learning process
    to succeed, the individual must be willing to take risks. Stick
    you neck out, including by telling the instructor when you’re
    confused or disappointed in the course. Don’t wait until the course
    is over when nothing can be done about it.

    Growth Involves the Entire Learner

    If learning is to be more than collecting new information,
    then we must involve ourselves completely in our learning experiences.
    Unfortunately, too many development programs still operate from
    the assumption that the learner can somehow separate personal
    development from professional development. So we end up getting
    a great deal of information about finance and sales, but little
    help with stress and time management. Then, after schooling, when
    we enter the hectic world of management, we struggle to keep perspective
    and we’re plagued with self doubts. True learning involves looking
    at every aspect of our lives, not just what’s in our heads. So
    include courses, e.g., in Stress
    and Emotional
    , in your training and development plans.

    Growth Requires Seeking Ongoing Feedback

    Many of us don’t know what we need to learn — we don’t know
    what we don’t know. Therefore, feedback from others is critical
    to understanding ourselves and our jobs. Feedback is useful in
    more ways than telling us what we don’t know. Feedback also deepens
    and enriches what we do know. Research indicates that adults learn
    new information and methods best when they a) actually apply
    the information and methods, and b) exchange feedback around
    those experiences. However, we’re often reluctant to seek advice
    and impressions from others, particularly fellow workers. We’re
    sometimes reluctant to share feedback with others, as well. The
    and Receiving Feedback
    might be useful to you.

    The courage to overcome our reluctance and fears is often the first step toward
    achieving true meaning in our lives and our jobs.

    Growth Involves Realistic Expectations

    There is a vast amount of management literature today, much of it asserting
    the need for substantial and continued change. We’re expected to achieve total
    quality and total integrity. We’re encouraged to transform ourselves and our
    organizations. Courses and workshops promise a wide range of outcomes and useful
    skills. It’s easy in today’s hectic and frustrating world to want a course or
    workshop to take care of all of our problems. True development is a process,
    more than an outcome. Many of us want to measure our growth along the way by
    setting objectives to accomplish. We must ensure these objectives are realistic
    — or we’re faced with despair and cynicism about our work and learning.

    Trust Your Instincts to Learn

    Learning doesn’t come only from other people telling you what
    you need to know and how you need to learn it! The highly motivated,
    self-directed learner can make a “classroom of life”.
    Everything becomes an experience from which to learn. You can
    design your own learning experiences! Think about what you want
    to learn, how you might learn it and how you’ll know if you’ve
    learned it. You can get a great deal from this Free
    Management Library
    . For example, take a half hour a week to
    review materials in the library. You’ll get a strong (free) sense
    about management. Glance at topics in the Personal
    topic, including, for example:

    (numerous self-assessments)

    – Setting Personal Goals

    Your Behavior

    Basic Requirements for Effective Learning

    Style Inventory


    Also consider
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