In the myriad facets of life, what is continuously churning is our ability to adapt, adopt, and practice new-age learning. But what should learning constitute? Shouldn’t learning be the ‘wow’ moment for each one of us? However, on the contrary, it becomes a conundrum – a boring, mundane, routine process wherein the brain registers half-baked information only to be forgotten soon after the ‘learning journey’. It happens whenever we are told to learn at work. The 5 working days become a mundane affair, and for some it’s 6-days a week. But what is it about learning which makes it mundane or routine?
It is because of the pressure of everyday life. We tend to think that unless we are under pressure, our lives are not happening the way we envisage. We continuously think that due to this continuous pressure, learning newer things seldom happen at work or in life. But days are not routines. Each day blossoms with newer aspects of life, opens new possibilities, but everyday drudgery sucks us into believing that learning is boring.
So how do we learn?
Imagine yourself as a student. What is the unique thing about being a student? Well, students are curious, they are free to do anything, ask questions, be playful, open-minded. Students are open to having conversations - they absorb every bit of information without judging. The ability to absorb however trivial information, make students a very rare breed. Conversations can be among peers, between a young professional and older, and friends. And in this conversation, the roles are fluid. A mentor in one situation can become a mentee. For example, a young professional can become a mentor to an experienced manager about new ideas, digital information etc. Creating an environment within ourselves to absorb and also allow the hierarchy to be dismantled is the way to have a great Learning Conversation.
With the changing work equations, it is necessary to rekindle the conversation among colleagues - experienced to Millennials. Millennials will constitute about 50% of the workforce by 2020, according to PwC report. While it is not necessary that Millennials are the only ones learning from the experienced lot, learning from the Millennials is equally a reality today. Talent is becoming agile, nimble with each passing year. And there is no teacher who can teach us how to or what to learn. The hunter should be within us – and not wait for things to unwrap. For example, Eklavya didn’t give up even when Dronacharya refused to teach him. The learner always searches for different opportunities to learn.
Organizations, leaders need to observe the universal truth about learning – which is openness. We should be ready to embrace change as much as when we expect others to adapt to such changes. Looking for that Mojo which will enhance the learning experience to create the magic! And it is this Mojo which never gives up on people. All of us are waiting to live a Mojo life. When we discover the diamond or the sparkle in ourselves, it is not easy to give up until we find the sparkle in others. And it is not related to age or experience. Nurturing the Mojo will essentially create a great learning conversation.
(This article has been curated from Actor Ashish Vidyarthi’s session on The Learning Conversation at the Skillsoft-SumTotal Perspectives 2017 held in Mumbai)