The Hardest Part of Learning

Learning is a process, not a one-time event.

For a student of anything (law, medicine, leadership, etc), they know that the hardest part is often what happens after the classes are done and the tests have been taken.

The hardest part is entering back into the ‘real world’ where they need to put their learnings to use and apply it to their job, their everyday life, their real-world situations. Where work gets in the way, where things don’t go exactly as planned, and where the “safety” of learning something new seems to have disappeared.

The gap from learning to behavior change, or learning to application widens when we view learning as an event, instead of a process.

Event-driven learning is sometimes meant to check-a-box, to boost morale, to hide an issue.

The gap in applying learning often happens when we spend too much time honing the event, and not enough time folding the learning into the environment where the learning will need to be applied.

The gap exists when we focus too much on the content (“it”) and not enough on (“us”), how we’ll work together because of what we learned.

When we view learning as a process, instead of an event, we take into account the motivation, the practice, and the feedback that we need as learners to make it our own, to make it social, and to make it stick.

If we enable and inspire people to be constant learners, learning becomes something that we choose to do, instead of something that is done to us.

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