How learning can inspire personal and professional change

personal change

As human beings we are learning our whole lives. From the cradle to the grave we are continually taking in new information on how to do things and how to improve the way we do things. In fact, it has been said that once you stop learning you, in effect, stop living. Not in the literal sense of course, but learning keeps our brains active, our confidence levels high as we master new things, and our emotions positive.

Learning is not just about acquiring new knowledge and skills though. Learning is also about experiences and behaviours and understanding the relationship that you have with yourself.  Any good learning intervention should produce positive change. Whether it is personal or within a team or a whole organisation, learning is the way to change and transformation.

Most learning occurs informally and is a continuous process. Sometimes people are not even aware that learning has taken place as it is so subtle in its nature. Informal on-the-job training or discussions with colleagues are both examples of where someone can acquire new information without necessarily recognising that learning has occurred.

Formal learning processes range from classroom style training courses to education programmes. The methods employed in these types of interventions range from tutor input and facilitation to experiential learning and practical action learning sets. The one thing that nearly all these type of experiences share is that they involve social connection with others and it is suggested that people learn better this way.

People are more likely to learn when they have clear objectives and when there is a powerful motivator for learning.  Because of its link to career advancement professional development can provide a strong motivator for learning.

Learning can be accelerated by helping people to work through the learning cycle as popularised by Kolb. In essence supporting people through the cycle of having an experience, review and reflecting on the experience, concluding and learning from it and then trying out what has been learnt is an extremely effective way of maximising learning opportunities.

Personal development is an area of learning that has gained in momentum over the last ten years of so. It is said that the journey of change begins by pulling on the boots of self awareness. Change starts with knowing who you are, where you are and where you want to be both professionally or personally. By a process of self reflection you can increase your self understanding and improve your chances of achieving long lasting change.

Personal development is greatly enhanced when it is supported by personal or professional coaches and mentors. These professionals can accelerate the rate of change by helping people to uncover blind spots in their development and by providing the tools and techniques to move forward.

Learning is the catalyst for all change and transformation. Whether it is for individuals or for organisations without learning you just maintain the status quo and do not have the opportunities to grow, expand and thrive.

Thales Learning & Development offers a wide range of learning and development programmes including an extensive selection of personal development courses. Please contact us on 0800 138 7637 for more information.