Career & development

Learning how to learn; When did you learn something new?

June 24, 2024

Cherishma Konka, learning culture

And have you ever thought about “learning how to learn”? One of the most important competencies and one that can most radically lead to change in our lives is “learning to learn”. This competency, or skill, which can be developed over time, has a very significant impact on aspects such as personal wellbeing, our productivity, and effectiveness.

And as if that isn’t enough, recent research has found that continued learning keeps brain cells working at optimum levels, which may slow cognitive and memory decline as we age. The best part is the learning can come in multiple forms. With a long background of working with learning culture, we asked Anders Lyddby, People Attraction and Development Manager at Axis,Sweden to gain his insights and thoughts around learning.

In what different forms can learning come?

It comes in all forms. In almost all things we do there is some form of learning embedded.  Two things worth mentioning here are that about 80 percent of all learning content we consume comes from places that was not originally intended for learning. For sure, most of us have at one point been trying to figure something out and turned to YouTube to find a video showing how to perform that task. Second thing is that most of what we learn comes from working, doing our jobs. And many times, we don’t realize what we learn while working, we just notice after a while that we are better at our jobs.

What are your top three tips on learning how to learn?

  1. Practice. Pretty much with everything we want to learn we have to practice. That can at times feel boring and uninspiring but its critical for long term retention.
  2. Don’t worry about failure when learning, everybody fails every now and then and it’s a natural part of learning. If you are not sure how to do something, have a go at it. If it doesn’t work out, reflect and try again, eventually you will get there.
  3. If you pick up something new, try to figure out how you can use it in your work. As it turns out, if we understand how to apply our skills and knowledge, we are way more likely to use it and adapt our behaviors accordingly.

What expectations do you think that an employee can have on their organization when it comes to learning?

Anders Lyddby, People Attraction and Development Manager.

The minimum is that there is an ongoing conversation about personal development and some kind of development plan. More than that I think that you can expect the organization, or manager, to set up an environment at work where learning can thrive. This would be things like helping you clear the schedule so that you can practice new skills, being a support during trial and error, helping you expanding your network by putting you in contact with peers that you can learn from, and they should build an environment in which you can learn, priming psychological safety and growth mindset.

At Axis, we talk about a growth mindset, why is that important?

A growth mindset is the belief that if you put effort in, you will learn something and believing that you can learn is half the battle. Often it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you don’t believe in your ability to learn, you don’t put in the extra effort and as a result you will not learn as much.  Our learning culture has always been something we have placed strong importance on, and one we believe has been key to our success.

What was the most recent new thing that you have learned?

Yesterday I learned the regulations for building bathrooms, as we are renovating. There are surprising number of them.

Do you have any final learnings that you would like to share?

Those who learn fast share three traits, they are curious – they ask what if – then they try to see what happens and figure out how things can be used. They are resourceful – if they want to know something they figure out a way to acquire that knowledge. And they are persistent – if they fail, they don’t give up, they try again.

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