Thursday, May 17, 2018

Reskilling Prong 1 – Collect Information

This is the easy prong for me.  I can read books and consume media happily all day.

It’s easy for me to mistake “research” for learning.

Thankfully, I’ve spent a lifetime learning and unlearning.  I’ve approached even the most uncomfortable topics with the idea that I can at least become passably OK at whatever it is I’m trying to learn.

Some topics, I find it’s easy to figure out where the “beginning” is and put together the learning plan from there.

Foreign languages, for instance, have a pretty consistent start point and a clear learning path.

Other topics, like sales and marketing, generate significant noise.

Each person has his or her “best” way.  The result is a lot of conflicting information.

Add to that the internal noise I generate when I am trying to learn things in areas I’m not entirely confident I will master.  Or, as is the case with sales and marketing, have reservations about the endeavor.

When I’m starting from “dead beginner” status – I’ll typically look for “Introduction to…”   or “…for Dummies” type books.  The general overview.

I’ll then look at the “classics” and most cited.

Is there something in that information I can hook into from my past experience?

What can I immediately leverage?  What actions can I take, and how quickly can I take them?

Where am I finding agreement or resistance to the information?

What trends am I seeing?

As I dig into the information and gain more clarity on my personal goals for learning this skill, I can start work on the other prongs.


Resources

eLearning Industry – 9 Techniques to Achieve Learning Agility and Future-Proof Yourself in an Age of Disruption

Harvard Business Review – Learning is Learned Behavior. Here’s How to Get Better At It


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