So many branches in a tree

Over the years, I’ve worked with three training organisations. In my first job, I was the Director of a language training company, but I never took any training myself. In the second, I was the Director of Sales at a large global training organisation, surrounded by countless training opportunities, yet I still didn’t participate in any sessions.

Now, working with Work Smarter, Live Better, I’ve finally grasped the importance of training and continuous improvement. It took me a while, but I got there in the end!

In this video, I want to talk about a value that’s really important to me: continuous improvement.

I’m in Melbourne at the Crowne Plaza, attending an incredible training session I’ve been eagerly anticipating. Donna, an amazing trainer, is teaching us how to become better trainers. We did a fascinating exercise where we picked two cards with different words on them and had to connect them. I got “tree” and “continuous improvement.”

It made me think about how a tree represents continuous improvement. At first, you see the trunk, and you might think that learning stops after school or university. But just like a tree branches out endlessly, learning should be a continuous process, branching out in many directions with endless topics to explore.

I often hear leaders say, “Training was a one-time thing I did in university” or “I don’t have time for training; I’m too busy.” Stephen Covey in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about the importance of learning continuously. His seventh principle is called ‘sharpening the saw’.

Here are a few things that help me stay committed to continuous learning:

Capture: Whenever I hear about an interesting training or something new to learn, I write it down. It could be a book or a training session. I have a special place where I keep all these ideas.

Commit: I set aside time every week and every quarter for learning. I aim to do a significant training once every quarter to six months. It’s crucial to block this time in my calendar. Like now, I’ve flown to Melbourne and dedicated two days to this awesome training.

Apply: After attending a training session, it’s important to put the new ideas into action. I call these my “insights and actions.” It’s not just about attending the training but also about debriefing and applying what I’ve learned.

Following this approach has truly transformed my life. It’s made me better at what I do and brought me a lot of joy. Continuous learning is enjoyable and fulfilling, offering a chance to grow and connect with fascinating people.

So, my question for you is: How much time have you dedicated to learning this week? This quarter?

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip.

I hope you have a lovely day!

À bientôt,

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