Did you know that anybody can enhance their life, and thus their career, by improving some simple, basic skills? Once you have a handle on these skills, there’s no telling what can happen but you have to apply them consistently: everybody needs to learn how to learn and learn how to teach.
Learn How To Learn
Learning is essentially acknowledging that you don’t know everything and being open to expanding your horizons.
- What are you reading? If you don’t read, start slow and it will get better quickly.
- If you are always reading a novel, try reading some non-fiction regularly.
- If you never do fiction, start with some short stories and work up.
- Take a class in something that appeals and intimidates you.
- Play games on your phone or computer that are not in your comfort zone, like words for a math whiz and numbers for the linguist.
- Learn how to use your hands or your body a different way, like dancing or knitting or soccer or anything fun.
I bet you thought I’d be telling you to work on a career skill, and that certainly is a good idea. But for many of us, we need to start developing the ability to learn first. When you start with what you like and stretch your mind a little bit, you are learning how to learn.
Learn How To Teach
Teaching is not being a windbag standing in front of suffering students and talking to hear themselves. Good teachers listen to their students and try to understand how they perceive things so the facts being communicated get through to the brain. A teacher needs to have a good grasp of the subject in order to explain it effectively.
- Offer to explain something you are good at to a friend who wants to know how.
- Show a newbie some tips about a skill you have.
- Write instructions just to see if they make sense when you follow them.
- Improve your writing skills so you can communicate better.
- Rewrite things that are confusing to make the meaning clearer.
- Research the styles of learning and figure out how to explain to each style.
The truth is that we all teach, whether we realize it or not. The goal is to be a teacher of good, helpful things who passes on all you have learned. When a person continually is learning, and is also continually sharing their knowledge, it completes the circle of intelligent growth. It also keeps you in a positive stance for whatever your career is doing and enhances any job.