- 20th May 2013
- Posted by: Rosalind Howard
- Category: NL Week
Time to Read – 1 Minute 05 Seconds
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
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.
Twitter – @sharonmsmyth. Blog – http://honestyandhumour.blogspot.co.uk