I’ve started a MOOC (massive open online course) on Coursera : What Future for Education? and the first topic is ‘How do we learn?’. There is a reflection before accessing the materials as follows:
Reflect on previous successful learning experiences and unsuccessful ones and what it tells you about your prefered ways to learn.
I’ve had a lot of learning experiences these are some recent ones.
Through The VRI project, I learn so much, trying lots of things and acting on the feedback. I consulted brilliant people from a wide range of our community. I made lots of mistakes in all kinds of ways and had to reflect and ask for help. People helped me to learn how as well as assisting me with that project. I’m writing the experience into a book and as I go through my journals and memories, I’m reflecting on how fortunate I have been to have this experience, how generous people around me have been with listening and assisting me to grow through it.
An unsuccessful learning experience I’ve recently had was a course I started that I quit. I quit because the teacher wasn’t engaging and I felt I had already heard what was being covered. It wasn’t right for me so I stopped. It may have been a good piece of paper to add to my resume, but there are many choices of things to learn, I said no so I could say yes to another choice.
I completed an online course recently called ‘Theory of Enchantment‘. I did the novice course and took a while to complete it because there was a lot of reflection to do. I enjoyed the course material, which came from popular culture. I feel like I am continuing to appreciate what I learnt and I know I want to practice from spending time with that course.
Sometimes when I’m learning something new I feel like I’m not making much progress. I’m trying to learn Portuguese because I have a new family member from Brazil, who speaks great English and I would like to speak to him in his language too. I’m learning via Duolingo and some days I am absolutely distracted but I intend and mostly do at least one exercise everyday. Until I quit, I will keep learning more. Sometimes I cheat and in messages use Google translate to pretend I’ve learnt more than I have. I always let him know eventually.
This tells me I like to have a purpose for my learning and a desire or need to learn it. I like learning by attempting and getting feedback, learning from mentors or people who have different expertise and experience. I like learning in a team and alone. Reading or finding more information is usually a part of my process that I enjoy. Reflection deepens the learning for me, I need to have time and space to review what I’ve learnt and have a good think about it.
Never before in my life have I said ‘I don’t know’, as much as I have this year. I don’t know what the best thing to do is and I am making decisions that feel like constant compromises.
It’s challenging to let go and decide what is an essential service. Others have to tell me what they need?
I feel blessed for all the humans, comforts and resources I have, grief for the missed cuddles with my grandson and all the human interactions I’ve taken for granted till now. I feel scared sometimes too.
These are some of the things I’ve distracted myself with both lately and bc.
A local company, In2 Project Management hosted Jack Corbett to deliver sales training and I was fortunate to win a ticket to the event. Neil Betts and Chris Allford from In2 have been supportive of our project – The VRI – and worked with me in 2014 to help me realise the vision we had for a community space. They are an appreciated part of our whole community approach that has made The VRI what it is.
Jack Corbett practises what he preaches. I got a pre-event call from his sales team to ask what I was most seeking from the training and this was well and truly covered with humour and humility by Jack in the training. He packed a lot into the 5 hour session, covering the process of sales and negotiations as well as sharing a lot of learning, presenting and business improvement tips. I received a call after the event and had the opportunity to work on my elevator pitch with one of ISR’s team members, which was a bonus.
Jack’s company ISR gave participants access to his LMS allowing us a vast range of resources to interact with. The training session was packed with value and my friends who attended were impressed. One of the bonuses he offered was a live call on overcoming objections a couple of mornings later, lots of us showed up.
The last sales training I did, was in the 90’s with Money & You, when I was on the sales team. When the opportunity to do this training came up I reflected on what I needed to improve. That’s where the learning process begins isn’t it? Looking at yourself and thinking about the results you are getting and what could be better. This was reinforced by the call from ISR.
What I most wanted to improve was closing a sale. One of the distinctions I got was to stop talking and give the client/customer/person the opportunity to think. Interestingly I’ve been doing the Lifeline training this year and the learning has been similar. It is more powerful to listen and to allow people to think for themselves.
I’m very grateful to the In2 team for sharing this learning opportunity with our region. The training was very affordable and improved sales is something we can all benefit from. The investment of time (and $$ if I hadn’t been a winner!) was entirely worth it.