The Never-Ending Story : Learning to Learn

Jaime Smith, 21 July 2020


The past few months has provided time for me to reflect on the good work that we do and how we can do it better, doing good is not enough. Better is a never-ending story and it is possible when the focus is on growth not solely on achievement. However, it is too easy to “get on with the job” and focus on results and leave the learning behind - in our industry this is slippery slope to irrelevance.

Therefore, what can we do, as leaders, coaches, managers,  to develop a culture of learning within our teams? Here are three ideas to kick-start.

1. Learning is Unique

It is as individual as each of the people working with you so don’t get caught in the trap of a one size fits all training programme. Develop and tailor individualised goals that highlight areas of enjoyment (often a known or hidden strength), provide opportunities to improve competencies and skills, consider learning styles and encourage active contribution.

2. Developing a learning mindset

The key here is cultivating an environment that is comfortable with mistakes, letting them teach us and guide us towards a better next time (as a perfectionist I have some work to do on this one!). Story telling about your own experience helps generate a culture of learning, at Magnetism, we have always encouraged blog writing to share our learnings with others.


3. Get good at feedback

Don’t let ego, confidence, fear, rejection get in the way of receiving or giving good feedback. I’m currently doing some coaching through a programme called Active management and they put it succinctly “your job as a learning enabler is to get people to learn how to do things the right way, not let them go on doing things the wrong way”. This requires us to give effective feedback to help bring about improvement.

Let’s be active in our engagement with our teams, encouraging them to desire learning over achievement. We need to commend progress because that is growth.