Forbes Coaches Council
As a professional, you are constantly learning. Whether you're learning informally through reading an article or conducting research, or in an educational setting like a seminar or online classroom, so many experiences can provide new and important information that enhance your skills and overall knowledge.
However, there's a big difference between absorbing information and putting what you've learned into practice. Without doing the latter, the training you've received will go to waste, so it's important to have a strategy for implementing your learning.
We asked Forbes Coaches Council members to offer some actionable advice to help you translate what you've learned into your everyday routine. Here are their best responses.
1. Identify Your Top Strengths
In order to transfer what you have learned into actionable steps, it's important to follow research-based concepts, such as applying your strengths. We all have our strengths that assist us in completing our tasks with satisfaction and excellence. Apply your strengths to your SMART (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals and get ready to grow! - Dr. Keita Joy Ductant, The Leader's Life Coach
2. Enlist A Feedback Partner To Make The Learning Stick
Two essential components of effective learning programs are accountability and feedback to ensure that the learning is being implemented. During our training programs, my company implements feedback buddies who share their learning goals and meet in between sessions to hold each other accountable for implementing them. They share successes and give feedback on tackling challenges. - Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
3. Figure Out Your 'Why'
Learning without application is a waste of time when it comes to company ROI. Before learning, one should ask, "What's the current issue I'm trying to resolve through my learning? What's the 'why' behind what I need to learn?" Just like a New Year's resolution, learning doesn't translate into action without a high need. - Rubi Ho, The Rubi Ho Group
4. Create Metrics For Learning
A new skill isn't learned until it is practiced and implemented successfully. So, create your own improvement metric specific to the skill. This could be a new action repeated or an old behavior deleted. Then, once that is achieved, set the next level of metric to continue improving. - Sarah Beth Aubrey, A.C.T. Aubrey Coaching & Training
5. Supplement Your Learning With Continuity Training
Eighty percent of training dollars are wasted annually when continuity training programs are not put in place. Sustenance coaching helps organizations and employees by giving them the means to develop and support the formation of critical, self-sustaining habits. It takes time to implement what you've learned. Hire outside coaches that complement and supplement internal leadership practices. - Cha Tekeli, Chalamode, Inc.
6. Do Some Honest Self Reflection
From a business perspective, we usually set out to learn new things in order to achieve different results. A simple way to see if we have implemented our new learning is to see if we are actually achieving different results. If you are getting the same results, and you are being honest with yourself, you will realize that you are not practicing what was taught. - Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.
7. Establish An Action Plan And Review Your Goals
To experience a transformation (small or large) by implementing learned information, you must establish an action plan to create habits. Nothing will ever become a part of who we are until it becomes a part of our habits. Take small steps towards transformation by journaling to set accountability and understand your progress. Review daily and set realistic goals to see success. - Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC
8. Seek Out Experiential Learning Opportunities
The experiential learning process creates a dynamic journey between knowledge and understanding its intended implementation. It also promotes innovation from the fresh eye perspective. Combine learning processes with live training workshops on goals. Balance the execution of daily progress while promoting individual opportunities to further grasp concepts on a deeper level. - Rachel Lourdes Mestre, Rachel Mestre LLC
9. Write About It
Create an article and quote credible information as you clearly state how you may apply the techniques of the new software practically and in a business setting. Developing a coherent, interesting and relatable article or blog post may only require 500 to 750 words, but it codifies your knowledge and demonstrates to a reader what you know as you help them apply a concept specifically. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
10. Put Yourself In The Right Mindset To Start Taking Action
The first step is to get your mindset focused on the end result you want to achieve. Then, start: Set the timer for 15 minutes and write down how you can get from point A to point B, and take tiny steps each day to achieve it. See yourself achieving your goal and it will happen – but you must start. - Tamara Patzer, Total Audience Market Immersion TAMI LLC
11. Find A Mentor
Learning something may be easy. Implementation is the hard part. Find a mentor or a partner that is going through the same training implementation as you are. You will hold each other accountable to deliver. You don't want to let other person down. In addition, you have someone to turn to when you are discouraged. - Jan Makela, Strength Based Leadership
12. Get Out In The World And Make Some Mistakes
As with education, coaching teaches tactics for how to get results. However, learning stems from actual experience. For example, job seekers should get out into the market, test out their story, try networking practices, and do informational interviews. You'll learn through feedback and self-assessment if your strategy, job targets and fit align well. If you make mistakes, you'll learn and redo. - Joanne Markow, GreenMason
13. Set Long And Short-Term Goals
We possess an amazing ability to learn, but it's not until we implement the learning that it becomes a skill. To transform knowledge into skills, we must immediately apply new information to our world in a meaningful manner. To ensure you practice what you're taught, set long- and short-term goals to ensure progress and dedicate a set time each day or week to practice, reflect and adjust. - Brian Tracy, Brian Tracy International
14. Pay Attention To Changes In Your Behavior
Learning takes place when you see a change in behavior. You can always tell when folks go through the motions because they show no change. As you learn, no matter what it is, how do you implement the high points of what you learned? You put them into practice. This always leads to a change in behavior, whether that change is positive or negative. How have you changed lately? - Chris Cebollero, Cebollero & Associates
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