5 Tips on How To Get the Most From a Learning Experience

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been inspired by a conference, learning event, book, podcast or even a conversation with a peer.

Now raise your hand if you’ve returned to the chaos and demands of work following that brief time away and promptly left behind most of those insights and good intentions.

My hand is up there with the rest of yours. This is one of the greatest challenges we face as learners and also as learning professionals. How do we make the learning stick? Bring it to life in our day-to-day work when there are so many obstacles to doing so?

Here are five best practices to help you make the most of your next learning event:

  1. Start before you start. Spend time before the formal learning begins thinking about what you want to learn, and where in your work that’s going to make a difference. Talk to you manager and land on some expectations – what role will they play in helping you act on what you’re learning?
  2. Stop at one or two. Many courses are packed full of inspiring content, new models, tips, tactics and tools. It’s impossible to act on everything – so what are one or two manageable changes you can make that will have a big impact? Focus on those. Once they’re established habits, you can always go back for more.
  3. Buddy up. Find a learning partner who attended the same event to help hold you accountable. Commit to regular check-ins to discuss challenges and share progress.
  4. Book it. Block time in your calendar to revisit or apply what you learned, even if it’s just an hour every couple of weeks. Book time with your buddy. Book time with your manager to talk about progress or obstacles.
  5. Use it or lose it.Real learning happens when you actively try the new skill, behaviour or mindset. Not just once, but over and over again. When it doesn’t work out the way you expected the first time, adjust, try again, and perfect your approach. Whether a physical skill or a new behaviour, doing it well takes repetition and feedback.

Are any of these in your personal post-course arsenal?

What else do you like to do to ensure you make the most of your learning opportunities?

This post comes from guest writer – Kristen Cross