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Learning and Applying Should Be in Propinquity

Learning and Applying Should Be in Propinquity

How much of your college education is actually relevant today, or was even relevant upon graduation? I learned a great deal of applicable, relevant stuff in grammar school, because the teachers immediately had us reading, using math, diagramming sentences, and so forth. To this day I have better English skills than 99 percent of the population, and if I want to learn about the origins of the French revolution or the signers of the Declaration of Independence or the dates of the Cretaceous Period, I can look it up.

In modern organizations there is too much attempt at learning without application. People are placed in courses (or the grammatically horrendous “trainings”) and are expected to store the information in their cheeks like chipmunks until such time as it’s needed—and by which time they will have forgotten it.

This is why external training companies—venders—don’t like metrics. They don’t want measurement on the efficacy of the material they’ve sold, in hard copy or online.  (And that’s why HR people love it.)

Couple learning with immediate use. You don’t learn to ski by reading a book. You learn with an instructor on the slopes.

As consultants, you won’t learn to market or sell your services in courses or theoretically. You need to go see people and practice what a coach has helped you with as soon as possible, not when “you’re ready” or “conditions permit’ or “the opportunity is there.” Tuck your ego away and prepare to fail.

You have to fall in order to learn how to ski, and you have to fail in order to learn how to sell.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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