Learning Never Stops
by Pegine Echevarria
It doesn’t matter how old you are or when you graduated from high school, college or got your doctorate — learning never stops. The most important education you can have is about yourself. Learning why you do what you do, learning what behaviours work for you and which ones no longer apply. Managers, leaders and team leaders who learn about themselves and define how they want to change and grow become more capable of motivating and encouraging others to grow.
People communicate with others based on their past experiences and what they learned from those experiences. Often, you will get people within your team, family or network who behave in non-productive ways because they haven’t learned effective ways to cope with their feelings, thoughts, and emotions about people, places, things or situations. An experience at work can remind them (unconsciously) of a past negative experience. To protect themselves from a similar hurt they felt back then, they choose a behaviour that is really inappropriate for the situation. This is replayed throughout workplaces around the world.
A manager is introduced to the new VP. The VP reminds the manager of someone who betrayed the manager during his first job. The manager superimposes onto the VP the same character traits of the person from his past. Over time, this relationship becomes strained and filled with conflict. If the VP were continually learning about himself and human behaviour, he would notice the barriers being built in the relationship, call the manager in and discuss the behaviour. Often, the manager isn’t even aware of his behaviour or how it is affecting his work. It is only through open discussion that the manager learns how his behaviour is affecting the relationship and that he has a choice to change his behaviour or not, both have consequences.
Everyone needs to continually learn about themselves and others. It is a never-ending process that brings wonderful results in your life.
Each year retail and wholesale companies take an inventory of their businesses. They find out what is in good condition, what is in poor condition and what is non-serviceable. They take their time evaluating the condition of the business because their future depends on it.
You must make an inventory of yourself so that you can evaluate each area, motivation, belief and desire. During your evaluations observe whether it helps or hinders your relationships?
Here are some questions to help you get started:
How are your relationships? With family? Friends? Co-workers? The boss?
What would you change?
Each time you ask yourself about a particular person or situation ask yourself:
What is my role?
What part have I played in it?
How has it affected my ego, pride, finances or relationship?
What are my strengths?
How do they affect my relationships?
What could it be better?
What are my motivators?
What are my weak points?
What is good? What are my strengths?
Learning about yourself is never a one hour process. Take your time answering these questions and developing more questions. The more you know, the more you can accept yourself and others and the more effective you will be as a manager, team leader and person.
By the way . . . honesty is critical.
When you finish reading this article call two people from your network and meet them for coffee this week. The two people must be come from the following two areas:
1) Your business network: Someone you know but have never had lunch with or coffee with.
2) Your community/social network: Someone you know, maybe you say hello at the grocery store or a school function or someone who lives a few house down from you but you don’t really know, just someone you say hi to.
The only way to expand yourself and learn about others is by reaching out. The most important thing you can do is share yourself with others. By communicating and building relationships with others outside of your comfort zone you:
- Build confidence in yourself
- Create a stronger network for your future
- Learn about yourself by learning about others
- Identify those traits in people that you value (or don’t)
- Learn about opportunities that you didn’t know exist
Thought of the Month:
“Learning about ourselves and then choosing to change what needs to be changed and strengthening our strong points make us become the people we dream of being.” — Pegine Echevarria, MSW
Magazines describe Pegine as one of the top motivational success and leadership experts with business and team building experience! Her teambuilding and motivational programs are experiential, fun and filled with content. Companies use her to motivate people, develop strong leaders & teams, and increase productivity. For more success, leadership and team building information visit her website at www.pegine.com