Learning Agility: The Key to Passion, Success and Happiness…

It can be as simple as learning how to learn.  With COVID, we are learning new things everyday and learning how to adapt both physically and mentally.  Flexibility and adaptability have been identified as key traits required to succeed in the workplace and to find happiness in life.  Easier said than done, perhaps.  It can be likened to either going with the flow of a current or swimming against it.  You know what happens when you fight against it….you get tired and you don’t get very far. 

So how can some people just seem to move along their career path with such ease and seemingly, great happiness?  Some people seem to love what they do and continue to love working well past normal retirement age.  But there’s a key to this passion, success and happiness.   And it’s not just restricted to those who seem to have found the ‘perfect’ career.  You have access to it too….no matter what your work and where you are in life.

Recent research has discovered that there are specific things that these people have in common.  The key is to develop the skill of continually learning or what has been labeled, learning agility.  “We all need to learn to adapt and thrive in ambiguous or new situations,” says CCL’s George Hallenbeck, author of the new book, Learning Agility: Unlock the Lessons of Experience.  Here are some of the keys:

1. Discover:  Become more agile to learning and seek out new and diverse experiences.   By doing this you broaden your skills and perspectives and explore new opportunities.  Challenge yourself to try the unfamiliar, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.  Reach out to a trusted friend or confidant and ask them to help you along the way.  It may be that all you need is a little reminder or push to get yourself going.   

2. Be Curious:Ask lots of questions and be curious and willing to experiment constantly.  Ask yourself “Why?” “How?” and “Why not?”.  Sometimes it can be as simple as asking “What’s the worst that can happen?”.  Find different ways to understand a problem, bringing in other people’s perspectives who you may not normally ask….people who are very different from you.  Utilize multiple techniques to grow understanding and meaning from the situation.

3. Embed the Experience:In order to recall and apply new learning later, you really need to find a way to embed the experience deeply.  When internalizing the experience, you must be open, taking time to debrief and reflect on experiences.  This may mean finding space for quiet and mindfulness, where you remove external distractions and give yourself permission to simply let whatever thoughts and feelings arise come to the surface.  It can also mean talking with someone about the experience in order to surface some of the underlying thoughts and feelings you have about the experience.

4. Be Flexible and Apply:  Over time you will get better at applying learning to navigate new situations.  It’s not just about what you learned, but how it might apply elsewhere.  Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment and try different ways of applying your key learning’s.

Passion, success and happiness are available to everyone and it can be accessed now.  Flashpoint knows how to align the tenets of learning agility into your current work, regardless of your role or organization.  Let us help you practice some of these new skills and watch your life expand.

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