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  • laurapraske

Every Leader Has One of These

When was the last time you created a Learning Plan? Perhaps the thought never even crossed your mind. Perhaps the thought of a Learning Plan sounds overwhelming and unmotivating. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Who has the time for that?”

Don’t stop reading yet.

Now more than ever, learning is critical to our success. Change is happening so fast. If we are not learning we might find ourselves obsolete, and who wants that.

So, how do we know what is the most important thing to learn? How can we learn faster? How can we learn smarter? How can we motivate ourselves to want to learn?

That’s where a Learning Plan comes into play.

What is a Learning Plan?

At first glance you might answer this question by saying: a plan for what I am going to learn and how I am going to do it.

Yes, this is true, but there are few more things to consider in order to set yourself up for success.

A solid learning plan takes into consideration the following.

Be Strategic

You have limited time and resources. How do you figure out what is the most important thing for you to learn right now?

Start by asking yourself questions like these.

· What topics am I interested in?

· What is something I’ve been curious about?

· What gaps do I have?

Are they knowledge, skill, relational, or leadership gaps?

· How is my industry changing?

What will it take to keep up with what’s new?

· Where would I like to be in 3 years?

What do I need to know or be able to do to get there?

Nail Down Your “Why”

Are you preparing for a promotion, bored and looking for a new challenge, starting a new role, navigating an unanticipated transition, or something else?

Another way of looking at why you want to learn is to identify the desired output or goal of your learning? Here are some reasons why people learn. Which ones resonate with you?

· Increase your influence

· Grow personally

· Help others grow

· Advance the business

· Prepare for a promotion

· Successfully live into a promotion

· Change careers

· Get into the marketplace

· Re-energize

· Identify actionable insights

· Make better decisions

Put Time On Your Side

Consider when is the best time for you to learn? In his book, The First 90 Days, Michael Watkins writes, “The more efficiently and effectively you learn, the more quickly you will close your window of vulnerability.”

Based on the nature of what you are learning will you learn best:

· Before the project/promotion/activity?

· As you go or “in the flow” of the work?

· On the side of what you are currently doing?

Consider Your Learning Style

Fortunately, there are so many options for learning. Which of these do you prefer? Which fit best with what you want to learn?

· Read a book or blog

· Listen to a podcast

· Attend a webinar

· Talk with others

· Write about something

· Watch videos

· Take a class, workshop, or course

· Present information

· Do a project

· Research a topic

Take Action

Grab a piece of paper, your journal, or your favorite device. Jot down your answers to the following.

· What is the most important thing for me to learn today?

· Why do I want to learn it?

· When is the best time to learn it?

· How will I learn it?

Great job! You’re on your way to some great learning!

Ready to learn more about yourself? Check out my blog: Time to Change the Settings of Your Life

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