The 6 Habits of Efficient Learners

Recently, I happened to re-read a book by Stephen R. Covey, titled ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. I assume that many of you have heard of it and many must have read it, after all it has created quite an impact ever since it was published. For those who haven’t, the book provides a holistic approach for personal change. Covey shares the step-by-step process for solving personal and professional problems and leading a principle centered life. It was while reading the book that a few points struck my mind.

The question that came into my mind was, so what about the efficient learners in the organization? Is there a particular method they follow? After all some learners tend to learn better and deliver better performance. This thought eventually led to the creation of a new list- the 6 habits of efficient learners. So, what do good learners do differently?

1. Learn. Daily.

Studies indicate that mastery is often achieved after hours and hours of ‘practice’. Practice however, is the result of discipline. Learning too requires certain discipline. Many successful entrepreneurs and efficient learners often mention that they set aside an hour or two for reading and self-learning. Staying up-to-date is a practice that lets them innovate and stay ahead of the curve. For successful learning, learners ought to set a schedule so that it eventually becomes a habit.

2. Cultivate a Mindset.

We often question attitudes, but that in itself is the result of a mindset. Successful people often attribute their success to the firm belief that they can be successful. Similarly, efficient learners often tend to firmly believe that they can learn and implement the learning well. This sets into place a positive mindset. For effective learning, learners should create a mindset that supports learning.

3. Find Ways to Adjust.

Learning may seem boring or too hard to fit into the busy schedule or there could be ‘n’ other reasons that affect the whole getting into learning phase. Successful businessmen often talk about the importance of doing things that may seem uncomfortable and efficient learners talk about adjustments. Small adjustments in schedules and planning ahead to fit in short periods of learning session are ways in which most enthusiastic learners adjust. For effective learning, learners should first find ways to adjust their day/schedules and find time for learning.

4. Build a Learning Strategy.

In the L&D sector, we often talk about goals-performance goals, organizational goals etc. But, how do we get there. Effective learners often have a learning strategy. This can either be at an individual level or an extension of the organizational learning/training strategy. Strategy defines the path for achieving the goals.

5. Interact.

Until recently learning was considered to be an individual task. However, with the growing emphasis on socio-collaborative learning, it no longer is so. Efficient, smart learners and outstanding performers often learn from their peers through interaction and collaboration. Community learning and learning through interaction are new and improved ways of learning.

6. Focus on the Opportunity.

Napoleon Hill once said, “your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” In an organization filled with employees what makes each individual unique is the way he/she handles a task. Some in the group tend to work harder, while others work smartly. But, the thing that often provides the push towards achieving targets and performance goals is the way they utilize the opportunities that come their way. Learning goals too are opportunities in disguise and efficient learners often utilize it optimally.

Above mentioned factors can assist in creating a better learning environment within the organization. Before implementing any new learning program, create an environment within the organization and more importantly prepare the learners, introduce them to the concept of learning as a part of the workflow and make them aware of the benefits. This is one way to achieve both the learning and performance goals.

What other habits should good learners possess? Do share your opinions.

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