Identifying how we learn is an extremely important idea. An idea I have trouble with because I’m not exactly sure how I should learn. In learning tests, I have scored very similarly in multiple categories. So somehow I have to combine multiple things in order to learn at my maximum capacity. I know I am a terrible listener, frequently losing out on large portions of conversations and lectures have made that clear. I take a decent amount of information in while reading and I can learn a lot from seeing and doing. Learning is a tricky subject… maybe it is possible to ask our parents the way we learn best, after all, they did observe us growing up and learning almost every skill we possess.
Learning how we learn and applying that skill is no doubt a secret to many people’s success. There are multiple instances of Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor which Tesla Inc. is named after, describing his process of innovation. He described to people that whenever he had an idea he would build it, piece by piece, test it under all possible circumstances and then make the appropriate changes, all in his mind. Tesla was no doubt an extreme case of a visual learner.
A useful tool for discovering our learning style is to make frequent predictions of what your key actions will result in. For instance, make a goal that is possible to attain in 6 – 12 months. After you’ve completed it, or the 12 months are over, revisit your goal and write down what you noticed in the process, what decisions held you back, what took longer than expected, anything you can think of. You are bound to find out some interesting things about yourself. I learned this method from Peter Drucker, the writer of Harvard Classic “Managing Oneself”. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to identify where they ought to go in their career.
There is no doubt that teaching others is an effective way to learn. I can say with certainty that I have never forgotten or understood less of something I have attempted to teach another. Discussing and teaching my wife many of my strange games has been a joy and taught me so much about them myself. I have at time been thrown into a teaching scenario in squash where I really have no idea where to start, and so I discover another new level to the game, another level of fundamentals which are keys to success. I really do believe we learn best when we learn together. Every time I have learned a new skill I have learned faster in a group and had more fun doing it!
So, let’s discover how we learn, learn together, and have a great time. Happy learning!