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Archive for the tag “learning mindset”

Shortcuts Do Not Work

People are lazy. They are. We put a lot of energy, money and time to save energy, money and time. Don’t get me wrong – I am for reducing waste, but I have a different understanding what the waste in a process is. Let’s say our process is software development. We talk a lot about best and good practises in software development. It is cool to offer a blueprint as a service. We treat agile as a promise – do this and everything will be great! In those cases I see that by trying to save time and money we eliminated learning out of the process. For me learning is a mindset and making failures has a huge part in that mindset. 

When I started to give workshops and teach my colleagues and clients what I knew, I made several mistakes. One of them was my wish to highlight all pitfalls that I have made and by doing so to save others from falling into them. I thought I was doing a good job, but I was not. If you take learning out of the process, the result will be different and not sustainable. Parenting was and still is an area where I learn this daily – rushing things lead to nothing good. Let them learn and figure it out themselves!

Since I work as a trainer and coach, I face many situations where exactly this is what is expected from me: to save their time and to give fit-to-all solution. In those situations I have to hold on my soft skills to deliver the message and to gently guide into learning path. Not always it works out. Sometimes people get angry and disappointed. They want answers and they want them NOW! This is mainly the reason why I started to introduce my students with Cynefin. This is my way to deal with stubborn people and at the same time give them confidence that I believe they can deal with it, what they want me to solve for them.

People are lazy. I am. Sometimes I still fall for angry requests and sometimes I long for somebody who could whisper the right answers in difficult situations I face.

 

Cynefin Framework for a Training

In the trainings students quite often want to hear the only right answer to the question, even if I said earlier that there are multiple solutions. I am very cautious with examples as well because they are threatened often as only possible ways how to use/adapt. To overcome this, I give diverse examples, but my favorite way is to give example in some area of life and to ask my students to transform it in they software or system. In many cases it is real challenge! But that is exactly what you need! Class who just sits and listen, is not a class which is learning.

Lately, to prepare people better for this kind of learning, at the beginning of training I explain simple version of cynefin framework – to categorize problems and to decide how we will deal with them.

If you are not familiar with Cynefin Framework read about it here. Or watch how Liz Keogh explains it:

Learning: Human Factor

Every week I repeat: sitting still and listening to me is NOT a learning.

For me learning means to change behaviour.

If I understood how important for my well being are physical activities and implemented them into my daily routine, I can say I learned it. If I continue to practice movementless lifestyle, I didn’t learn a thing and there is no improvement to expect.

It does not matter how many trainings you take/ conferences you visit/ books you read, if you don’t implement topics your experienced in your daily activities. No trainer, speaker, book writer can do it for you.

You have to do it by yourself.

I Know Everything

– Hey, listen to me! I am the trainer/big name/white middle-aged man – I know everything!
– emm… no, you don’t. And neither do I.

I have arrived in phase where I know nothing, but I have enough confidence to teach others that little knowledge I have.

Since I was little I was very good middle man. I was reading a lot and used to observe things from different perspectives. Later at university my speciality was to explain something my study mates knew much better than I did, but struggled to understand some aspects of it. How can I do that? Very simple – I listen. Not just words what people say, but words which they do not say as well.

I work as a trainer not because I know everything, but because I like to help people. Training and coaching for me, in first place is about empathy.  I need to be able to connect with trainee and to understand her/his journey, to understand their challenges and problems. Only then I will be able to guide them to their next step. Not to my next step in that situation, but their next step.

My trainer moto is:

docendo discimus,

which means: by teaching, we learn.

I really learn while teaching. Listening to people and empathising with them I learn to know their stories. Based on my trainees questions, I start to explore new topics or dig deeper in domains I knew superficially. In my last training I learned a lot about Ireland – did not expect that, but wow – it was so interesting!

Lisa Crispin is excellent role model for learning attitude. She is three book author, has 20+ years of experience in agile teams, international speaker and, and, and… But I never heard another person then Lisa to say so many times phrases like: “I learned today…”, “that’s interesting!”, “I learned it from …”. Lisa helped me to understand that learning is not something what we do. Open mind to people, situations and new ideas is a mindset.

To know Lisa also showed me that it is easy to ask Lisa for a help. Because you know she will not judge you that you don’t know something. I try to use it in trainings I give. I talk about my mistakes, I say that I do not know everything, but I know material very well and I will do my best to help them to find their answers.

 

 

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