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A Love Letter to Learning

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

If you were to ask me why I do what I do, I’d probably say something like ‘I am passionate about learning’ or ‘I just love learning and development’. An odd choice of words to some and it is sometimes met with scepticism, but it’s true. I’ve not always loved learning, and I was pretty average in my attention to it at school, but it’s grown on me and now it’s a loyal and trusted partner as I go about my life.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, what better way to celebrate learning than to write a love letter to it and all it brings us. So, to misquote a well-known poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ‘How do I love learning, let me count the ways…’

#1. Learning shapes who we are

Learning has played a huge part in shaping me as a person, particularly once I actively chose to learn. The first learning experience I had that really had a massive impact on me was a coaching course I started in 2009. New and fresh to coaching I soaked up everything the training had to offer, and I thoroughly enjoyed the new skills that I could use in work and at home. Coaching has gone on to become part of my DNA, as vital to me as knowing how to walk and talk. Its my go-to tool when I’m experiencing an issue; I use it with my family and, of course, as part of my work. I wouldn’t be who I am today without that learning experience.

#2. Learning helps us to be the best that we can be

Whether it’s about how to do a task, how to be a leader or about gaining self-awareness, learning can help us to increase our effectiveness, our communication and our impact on the world around us. It can take us from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in whatever we do – and if we are already great, learning can keep us there! I’m a firm believer that there is always something to learn- no matter how skilled or confident I am at something, there is always room for improvement or something new I can add.

#3. Learning is flexible

I know so many people who think they can’t learn – ‘I’m too old’, ‘I’m not clever enough’, ‘I don’t have time’ are common things we tell ourselves about learning – myself included at times! But the reality is our brains are amazing and we all have the potential to learn things if we are open to it and if we find the ways that make it work best for us. Not got much time – listen to a podcast in the shower; don’t like classrooms – watch a webinar; love to know the ins and outs of things – read a piece of research and reflect on it. Find what works for you.

#4. Learning is best when we are also connecting

Learning with others is so important, it’s human nature and how we quite often get the best out of our learning experiences. No matter how you are learning, you will usually have to communicate and connect with people when embarking on a learning journey. Even if you are undertaking a distance learning course, there are usually ways to connect with the tutors and the other learners, and there are always other online forums you can hop onto. So, it really should never be a passive and isolated experience. Since we live in a society that can sometimes be very insular, I love the fact that learning can be a force for connection and breaking down barriers.

#5. Learning can change the world

A sweeping statement maybe – but it’s true. Look at what has been achieved by humanity because people took the time to learn and to use that learning to create something that has impacted how we live. From the wheel, to electric cars; from antibiotics to 3D bioprinting, the ripples, big and small, can be felt all over the world as a result of the human quest for knowledge and skills.

If you love learning as much as we do here at Leaderful Action, follow us on social media to keep an eye out for our future programmes and free learning resources

Happy Valentines!

- Natalie

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