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Thought Leadership Monday, August 14, 2017

Learning that lasts is a game-changer for everyone

Think back to your school days for just a minute: what language did you learn? French, German, Mandarin, Spanish? Did you play a musical instrument –the saxophone, the trumpet or even just the dreaded recorder?

Then cut back to now: how good is your conversational French these days? Could you pick up a recorder and knock out a good rendition of Three Blind Mice? Probably not – unless after school you moved to France to become a professional Recorder player.  And that’s because practice is what keeps your skills alive; keeps you fluent in that unfamiliar tongue or retains the muscle memory you need to play a tune off by heart.

Soft skills shouldn’t be hard work

We’ve all experienced moments – and days – at work where we’ve learned something profound about ourselves, our colleagues or our organisation, but have later felt frustrated that our new-found knowledge didn’t necessarily translate into real and lasting change.

So-called ‘soft skills’ often have a reputation for being harder to implement than, say, learning to navigate a new database or use an upgraded IT system. Once learned, you can’t turn up to work the next day and claim that you’ve no idea how the database works, how to access it or what it’s for – we’re pretty sure that wouldn’t be acceptable to your manager.  No, once you’ve received your training, you get stuck in and practice the task at hand until you can do it in your sleep (or at least, while you’re also answering the phone and pressing send on that all-important email).

But why should learning centred on self-awareness and relationship-building be any different, or considered any less foundational to a successful workplace?  Well, the answer is, it shouldn’t. After all, unless you’re a lighthouse-keeper, a long-distance truck driver or a professional hermit, you probably spend a lot of your working life putting your relationship-building skills into practice, conversation after conversation, day after day, team meeting after annual review.

Knowing yourself and your colleagues well enough to have excellent working relationships should be considered as inherent to your success as getting up to speed with that new IT system – because it is. Teams can’t reach greatness unless they’re founded on great relationships between self-aware people, and by the same token, organisation can’t reach greatness unless they’re full of world-class teams.

Beginning the journey

That’s why, when you begin your journey with Insights, we immediately take the theory and turn it into something practical. Our online learning accelerators help you understand the basics of our learning before you even hit the classroom, and after the event you’ll have access to plenty of learning to help keep those vitally important lessons alive.  By putting the learning into your hands (and we mean literally into the phone that we know is in your hand right now) we’re turning the theory into something that’s applicable to your own workplace right from the start.

Beginning the journey, for us, is not just a catchy title; it’s exactly what you do when you work with us. From day one you’ll take our learning, see real-world applicability, and begin to shape your relationships to get the very best out of every last one of them. And that’s something you’ll never, ever get bored of practicing.

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