“…Involve Me And I’ll Learn”

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “Tell me and I will forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I will learn.”

When it comes to your team, are you the kind of leader who reports on the latest changes and processes expecting your team to glean from your words what they need to perform as expected?   Do you introduce new processes at meetings with slide shows, graphs, charts or packets of dense instructions that you believe is everything they need to hit the ground running?

Or do you involve your team, getting their input at every stage, from idea generation to implementation and assessment? Successful leaders openly engage others and solicit feedback. They show everyone, up and down the chain, that they’re a valued contributor to the success of the whole. This creates an atmosphere of life-long learning, which is something we all must embrace in today’s evolving, diverse workplace.

Just-In-Time Learning

Increasingly, the concept of “just-in-time learning” is gaining popularity. Learning what you need when you need it seems like common sense, but it is rarely how workplace learning is structured. The lag is a bit surprising; particularly since it is well known that learning about something when it’s relevant is the key to successful adult learning.

If you lead a team, just-in-time learning may dramatically shift how much time you spend managing versus coaching. Instead of monitoring, approving and measuring group performance, you’ll increasingly focus on helping individuals identify and address challenges. You may spend less time on broad reach, top down instruction and more time teaching each team member how to mine the company’s resources for tools that support creativity and innovation, and help increase productivity.

Today’s rapid speed of change and progress means creating the rules and products as we go. Just-in-time learning may be the only way to keep the pace.

The Best Self Talk That Motivates

Research has now proved that the Little Engine That Could was onto something. The little blue trained used “I think I can” as self-talk to conquer the mountain.   A group of British scientists working with the BBC Lab UK studied over 44 thousand people and found that using positive self-talk – like telling yourself “I can do better next time” – actually improved performance.

People using phrases like “I can beat my best score” and “I can react quicker this time,” saw the biggest improvement. Next were those using imagery to visualize a better outcome. Both techniques outscored the if-then method of negotiating with yourself by promising, “If I perform better, then I will reward myself.”

Use positive self-talk and imagery to conquer seemingly insurmountable obstacles and improve your chances of success. These simple techniques will shut down your mental border patrol, and help you win.