Like many things in life, you get out of learning opportunities what you put into them. Whether it’s a conference, class, worship service, book, video documentary or even a meeting, if they’re to be impactful they require something from you. This is the flip side of my last post about creating memorable learning experiences, which is the participants’ responsibility in learning.
So to get the most out of learning opportunities I take the following steps.
- Enter with the right frame of mind – I never look at learning opportunities as if it’s entertainment. When I’m entertained all I do is sit and enjoy the show. Learning requires much more from us than entertainment does.
- Enter with a humble posture – I always believe there’s something I don’t know so there’s always something for me to learn. So I submit myself to the “teacher”, not uncritically, but thoughtfully to find that “gold nugget”.
- Be prepared to write – Whenever I want to learn, or remember something, I write it down. This means I always have paper and pen with me. I take notes in meetings, seminars, even church. If I’m serious about retaining what I’m seeing and hearing I write it down even if I never refer to it again.
- Make commitments – I make notes about what I will do with what I’ve just learn then I…
- Do something with it – by quickly going back over my notes and trying out or implementing what I’ve learned. The sooner I do it the more I remember.
So when I take these five simple steps I always walk away from learning experiences with something I’ll remember long afterwards.