Seizing Learning Opportunities

This tweet, which I'm probably going to take completely out of context, made me think of a conversation I was having with a colleague yesterday evening. Let's focus in on the point made in this tweet (shown above):
Real professional development occurs when we leave here and hash it out!

If we reflect on this initial assertion, it's easy to see that times have changed, right? What this statement is saying is that in the old days, we would attend professional development, sit-n-get sessions. And, no discussion was really possible, no way to make that PD relevant to our daily work and practice. In other words, the reality of the work was pushed off until later...when it might or might not happen.
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The idea isn't dis-similar to the many conferences and/or tent revivals, right? You have a fantastic, almost out of body thrilling experience that you just know has left a terrific impact on your life, an impact that will be the standard for all future change.

But a week down the road, you can't remember what it is that made you so excited. Instead of an explosion of change that throws your guts and body parts inside out, you are left with a dud. Why does this happen?

I'd like to propose that real learning happens over time, a slow pressure that applies over time. This isn't brain surgery, folks. If you want to lose weight, you change what you consume and do. If you don't, you fail.

Or, put another way, "Real learning happens when we engage with others about the 'stuff'!"
Why does that engagement have to wait until later?

As an impatient sort of fellow, this kind of slow change is maddening. I try not to think about it. What I want isn't to sit-n-get in a professional development session, but rather, to get new ideas ahead of time, then discuss how I can best incorporate them into my life on a daily basis. And, the value of social learning shouldn't be overlooked either. How does "social" look different for introverts? Extroverts?

What specifically do I need to change, what habits will I need to drop? These are the "rubber meets the road" questions I need to answer, then find a way of realizing in my life.

How about you? How do you make learning relevant?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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