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Monday
Aug182008

Lies about Learning: 2 and 3 of 7

There are “lies” about learning that we have allowed ourselves to buy into. On a personal level, these lies get in the way of our learning and growth. In business, we end up wasting money, time and energy after training that doesn’t produce the results we expect. 

Lie #2: If I am “certified,” I have mastered it

Most certifications are intellectually driven. Meaning that they are designed to get you to the point where you can “pass the test.” Nothing wrong with that. The only problem, though, is that you have gone only one-thirds of the way towards truly learning. True learning takes you from the head to the heart, and then from the heart to the gut.

The certification training works great in the academic world. Unfortunately, academics by itself can’t change the behavior of the people in your business. If behavior does not change, your results won’t change.

You see, mastery of a new level of behavior and new level of results does not happen during training. It happens after the training, in the real world, applying the stuff that was taught in the class. A test is logical, step-by-step and ideological. There a “right” or a “wrong” answer; there is pass or fail. Real world is not so pretty. Real world is often messy, unpredictable and inconsistent.

That’s why Mastery requires that we have not only cognitively understood the material but can also apply it artfully and skillfully in the real world.

TRUTH: I have mastered the new skill, concept or principle only when my behaviors and actions change to get a new level of results.

Lie #3: We have to be “Smart” to Learn.

What does it mean to be “smart?”

Here are some definitions of Smartness that make us ineffective at learning:

1. Knowing a lot of stuff. More stuff on the top of the stuff we already know.

2. Asking a lot of questions to the teacher or being a cynic.

3. Having opinions and a convincing argument for everything.

Have you heard the saying “you can’t teach anything to the guy (or gal) who knows everything?”

There is nothing wrong with being Smart if it helps us function in the world.

But when it comes to learning, being “smart” can actually get in the way. 

Learning requires for us to accept that there is something that we don’t know. That there is someone who knows more about a particular subject than I do.

To be effective at learning, we need to be Humble, not Smart.

TRUTH: We have to be HUMBLE to learn.

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