What really makes learning work?

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What really makes learning work? By Sharon Smyth

The biggest challenge in talent management and development, is how to ensure people really learn, and apply what they learn.

I used to rely on models and theories, which were only sometimes successful – Nowadays I give a different answer, an answer which is derived from a very personal experience, having my daughter. I had never until this point in my life felt so totally clueless, or developed as many new skills and as much new knowledge in such a short period of time.

My learning during this period of my life was rapid, as was the application of my learning. Whilst the context is a non-work one, as time passed I realised that I had undergone an incredibly successful learning process. I wouldn’t want to have the level of stress which I experienced during this period applied to work of course!

There are five key principles which we can all duplicate:

1. Desire: I wanted and I needed to learn.

2. Actually having a go: I had the opportunity of trial and error which was often in a quite limited time span so I could see the results, and with only my own scrutiny.

3. Focusing on the key information: There was lots of information out there but because of the first point I had to sift and sort it quickly to get to the key bits I needed. I was, in effect, forced to be ruthless in seeking the right information and discounting the rest.

4. Keeping it simple: The most effective information was the bits I could understand quickly and apply instinctively.

5. Sharing learning with others: Despite the plethora of information out there, I was astounded by the number of things I truly wished I’d known and yet no one said. I used friends and forums to get answers and crucially share experiences.   So now, when I’m asked how to ensure people really learn, I share these key principles.

Thank you Sharon – You did it – you wrote a book!

With my love and best wishes to you all

David X

Sharon Smyth is a working mum, author and HR specialist from the United Kingdom. Her book ‘The things they never tell you about becoming mum’ is a real world account of the typical decisions and dilemmas that first time mums-to-be, new mums and their families will need to navigate.



Web: http://www.sharonsmyth.co.uk/

Twitter – @sharonmsmyth.  Blog – http://honestyandhumour.blogspot.co.uk

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