Digital courses, e-learning and all that

It’s all about knowledge. Intangible assets. Nobody can take it away from you (except maybe Alzheimer).

It’ll be your armour, your tools and your means to stay ahead.

How can you learn about something that you didn’t grow up with (digital gadgets)? By participating in e-learning, that way you familiarise yourself with the vehicle and the subject?

Self-experiment: signed up to ‘futurelearn’ about digital leadership. And already I am glad to find sentiments from others: that there is a knowledge gap in the workplace between the “geeks” and the “not geeks”.

It seems easier for the geeks to learn the not geeks stuff than vice versa. Why is that?

 

 

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The art of being a good listener or: short and long distance running, Part II

As the Athletics are in full force, and I have just returned from another workshop at Henley Business School, I thought I’d follow up from my last post.

Having recently read Edgar Schein’s “Humble Inquiry”, short- and long-distance running as an analogy seemed apt yet again. Note how it is much more important for a short-distance runner to get a great start, pushing themselves off the starting block, while long-distance runners seem nearly relaxed at the start…

What does this have to do with the art of listening, you might ask?

According to Schein, “deep down many believe that if you are not winning, you are losing. If you don’t tell first, someone else will tell and get the brownie points. The tacit assumption is that life is always a competition.”

So does this ring a bell? Do you like to push people to get to the point if you feel that you are not getting anywhere near a conclusion in a conversation? (Impatience kicking in!)

Or, as Schein would tell us: “When we are listening to someone and don’t see where it is going, we say “So what is your point?”. We expect conversations to reach some kind of conclusion, which is reached by telling something not by asking questions”.

This ties in with a quote often allocated to the Dalai Lama: “when you talk, you only repeat what you know; when you listen, you might actually learn something”.

Maybe we should all try some long distance running, aka, preserve our energies, park our impatience, forget about that Pole Position, and take a deep breath before trying to force a conclusion of a conversation.

Or we could try and be children again, following the slogan intended for crossing a road and apply it to conversations/situations in our business lives instead:

Stop! Look! Listen! Think!

It doesn’t mention “TELL / TALK / INTERRUPT”, does it?

I’ll go now and buy some duck tape to put over my mouth.

Correlation between learning styles and sport styles or: the loneliness of a long distance runner

One of the hypotheses I recently made (but yet need to find corroborating stats for) was that there might be a connection between the learning styles of a long distance runner vs. those of a short distance runner.

Would the hypothesis stand if I claimed that

  • long distance runners are used to have long-term stamina and patience, thus may also be better suited to work on their own (“the loneliness of a long distance runner”) – would this imply that they are more successful in long-term projects, and stay longer with a company (“loyalty”)? Would they fall under Belbin’s completer/finisher or Gardener’s intelligence type of INTRAPERSONAL (inner)?
  • short distance runners have short bursts of energy, and a lot of that, thus may be more extrovert and enthusiastic, better suited to work in a team and give off some of that energy – would this imply they’re good at short -term projects but run out of steam quickly and then move on? i.e. they would not be “completer/finishers” according to Belbin or  would they match Gardener’s intelligence type of INTERPERSONAL (social)

This topic has occupied me since I started my MBA at Henley Business School. And in case you are wondering, I am a short distance runner/swimmer.

To quote Iron Maiden (“The loneliness of a long distance runner”)

Run, on and on, run, on and on,
The loneliness of the long distance runner.

I’ve got to keep running the course,
I’ve got to keep running and win at all costs,
I’ve got to keep going, be strong,
Must be so determined and push myself on.

The Journey

 

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest. (Confucius, 5th century BCE).

On 24th February 2015, I decided rather spontaneously to embark on a part-time MBA at Henley Business School.

I strongly believe that I will come out at the other end with a better understanding of the gaps in my professional skillset. However, I am even more convinced that this is the beginning of a personal development journey more than anything. It is strangely scary and empowering. And surely there are others out there, who would be prepared to share their experiences from similar adventures? I very much look forward to hearing from you.

 

And what would be more fitting than an excerpt from the Talking Heads’ “Once in a lifetime”:

And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God!…What have I done?!