‘Ordinary people are happy to go through life … outstanding people choose to GROW through life’ Richard Maybury.

To grow through life we must be continuous, conscious learners. There are two sorts of learning: from experience or intentionally. When we learn from opportunistic experience, we only pick up a small amount of the knowledge available. But when we intentionally learn – consciously think of what has happened, the consequences and what that may mean for other situations – there is a process happening which enhances learning.

Fortunately, there are many simple ways to build your knowledge and skills.

Here are five simple ways to learn on Purpose:

1. Listening

Make it a practice not to interrupt someone who is speaking to you. Make an effort to truly listen instead of waiting for a pause in conversation where you can inject.

2. Criticism

Ask for specifics – what action is being criticised? Ask for suggestions about how to improve. Brainstorm your own solutions. After implementing the revised action, evaluate whether this is effective.

3. Keep learning logs

A learning log is a record of lessons learned – a valuable personal resource that will help reinforce new knowledge and serve as a refresher at a later date.

4. Advertise lessons learned

Provide ways for co-workers to share lessons learned such as a monthly departmental memo, an e-mail format, a lunch time “learners’ corner” or a strategically-placed notice board. Appoint a champion to keep the process going and clearly outline your expectations to co-workers to ensure a constant flow of new ideas.

5. Learn through reflection

When was the last time you sat and did nothing for 20 minutes? In our hectic world, true “downtime” is a scarce commodity. Quiet reflection gives you the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned and brainstorm solutions to problems. Schedule 20 minutes of pure quiet time tomorrow…and reap the rewards.

There are literally hundreds of ways to learn. Make a conscious decision to learn something tomorrow – you’ll discover how easy it is to acquire the learning habit. What works for you?

Of course, you can always contact us directly to tailor a support programme to your needs.