“The man is a man when he is on the road.” (“Човекът е човек когато е на път.“) has written Penyo Penev. And this rings true even more nowadays when everyone is always ‘on the go’, in pursuit of development, growth, learning, building…chasing…our happiness.
And happiness is a state of mind really, because it is very personal. What we need and what ignites us might be entirely different from others’ needs and motivators in a very same environment and surroundings. One thing is valid for all, we seek progress and growth as they are fundamental to our beings. And learning is a simple act of building knowledge and moving ahead.
Therefore, nurturing a learning culture (or growth mindset) is not just a cliché phrase or an indulgence these days when everything and everyone has gone virtual. It is a way to protect our societies (our organizations, families, relationships, people) and oursleves. As we need to learn to work and live virtual and we’d be successful at that by remaining focused on making those interactions as human as possible.
Multitude of studies have found that essentially there are two types of learning: a cognitive learning and socio-emotional learning. The first one focus on knowledge and skills and the second – on how we feel about a particular situation and how we manage our thoughts and feelings in it.
In our new normal, simply moving the old ways of learning and working online without adapting them to the new reality will not be sustainable in the long run. We need to also change our approach of how do we maintain relationships and close connections with one another. This is as much true for our teams as it is for our partners, clients etc. As we need to constantly seek feedback on the needs of the groups we’re serving weather internally or externally. A great article of HBR on the matter is available here.
With the lack of the ‘watercooler chats or togetherness’ we need to make extra efforts into establishing the socio-emotional learning bond which will allow for the cognitive learning to kick in. Or in other words, we need to connect with the person on the other side of the screen first, before we successfully pass on any information, skill or task we want them to carry out.
Many things have changed in the past eighteen months. The need for social interaction has not. Neither did the value of learning. Both are fundamental for our wellbeing but also for the success of our organizations as there are integral part of our beings. Progress, evolution and learning have always been deeply rooted in our existence.
Knowledge is power and light, seek and nurture your learning and growth (personally and professionally) and enlighten those around you too!