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Here’s the thing: While the act of learning is primarily intellectual, behavioral, or methodological, the experience of learning is primarily emotional. And it’s the emotional experience of learning — of being a beginner and making mistakes, often publicly — that often keeps people from even trying to learn. Bregman

Trying new things and failing, as Bregman suggests, can be ugly.  There seems to be a certain age, where many of us stop trying to develop ourselves.  Perhaps, sticking to what we are good at.  There are some that pursue the perhaps utopian life-long learning.  Through courses, programs, coaching, residential schools, reading books.  All of these things can assist us understand areas where we ourselves have identified development requirements.  But where do we start?

Often, we find ourselves too busy at work to want to spend additional time outside of work on development.  Many books are dry and hard to consume, when tired at the end of the working day.  Webinars can be a bit the same.

Many long-term employees tend to only seek to do courses when funded and organised by their employer.  Perhaps there is lingering doubt about what it will provide us.

Those who find themselves hitting a career ceiling, have reached a stage, perhaps having the perception where investing in themselves may not produce returns.  Missing the link between development and performance, indeed fulfillment.

The need for leadership development has never been more urgent. Companies of all sorts realize that to survive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, they need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those that helped them succeed in the past. Moldoveanu & Narayandas.

I was a beneficiary of the opportunity to teach at University part time, while working in the communication technology sector.  For some seven years, it was a juggle, often with a weekly work travel schedule.  There is a certain thrill in learning and applying something new, to extend ourselves, to reach for our potential, maybe beyond.

Teaching gave me that opportunity to be fully engaged with learning.  My students relied on me, I was able to look into what I needed, to deliver for them.  It helped me contextualise what was going in in my working life and make sense of it.

Some may doubt the link between development and performance.  Without others to help us, it may be difficult for us to identify key areas for development.  A means of measuring can certainly be helpful.

There is massive choice in providers of development for emerging managers and leaders, there has been identified as a deficit in the interpersonal skills by HBR.  It is disconcerting that the ‘Skill Transfer Gap’ estimated that only 10% of executive education gets applied.

Thus, a one size fits all approach can be problematic, have a one-to-one approach can go a long way to addressing this.  Especially one based on understanding, perhaps that would help us invest in ourselves.

Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash