As adults, many of us exist in a state of 'non-learning'. Non-learning occurs when our experience conforms to our mental models or to our everyday norms. Non-learning can also occur when we are too busy to reflect on an experience or because we do not change our mind-sets.
It is often said that we don’t experience transformational learning or change unless we have enough pain in our current situation or the promise of enough pleasure in a different, future situation. But wherever you are in your life, there are opportunities for transformative learning.
Every day can be transformational if we can get out of the state of non-learning. This means:
- Finding people in your life who can be empathetic provocateurs – people who will challenge, support, provoke, question, praise and appreciate you
- Actively seeking feedback from people whose opinions you trust and respect
- Taking the time to stop and ask yourself “Where are my current behaviours taking me? Where will I be if I continue in the same way?” Associating everyday behaviours with possible long-term outcomes is key to bringing about transformational learning
- Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- Acknowledge your assumptions and biases and learn to question them. Ask yourself “What am I assuming about this, which is stopping me from changing?”
- Develop an attitude of curiosity and open-minded wonder
- Listen more and for longer
- Ask more questions
- Make time to reflect on your experiences and evaluate what went well and what didn’t go well
- Put yourself in new situations and experience the discomfort of change and of not-knowing