Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Learning Something New - A lifelong pursuit

Haliburton Campus

In the corporate world I always worked very closely with the education and human resources professionals. Ensuring employees had access to the newest and best available information and training was always a priority. Selfishly, it made my job a lot easier to work with people who "get it" and it was often a lot more fun than the mundane but inevitable administrative tasks.

But the challenge was to get people who needed the training the most to actually enroll it in. Our head of HR development often lamented that the people who were the most keen to sign up were the people who needed it the least; i.e. they were already very good at their jobs, highly motivated and educated.

And the people who needed it the most, were for some reason blind to the fact that they did. They were far too important or too busy to take time out to acquire a new skill. We concluded that what was really wrong was that those individuals were too afraid to admit that they had something new to learn or that they were too scared that they might embarrass themselves in front of their subordinates or peers. And so they just went on acting like jerks while the rest of us scratched our heads in disbelief.

Don't be a jerk. Take the time to learn something new. Enroll in a class. Make honest mistakes and learn from them. Park the ego, turn off the blackberry, let down the facade of "I'm better than everyone else" and relate to people. It's quite a fulfilling experience.

What brought on that rant? Well I've enrolled in three new courses at the Haliburton School of the Arts. I'm going to be learning and acquiring new skills. I will be making mistakes too. The group will no doubt include people who are better at these things than I am. I'm going to pleased to be in their company, admire their work and techniques. Can't wait!

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