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At the Learning Edge

Each of us has a “learning edge” – our own personal frontier in which we are rapidly, and sometimes uncomfortably, learning about ourselves and the world. At this frontier, we may be outside of our comfort zone, but it is here that we have the greatest gains to make.

So, how do you reach your learning edge? And when do you know that you’re there? Take a look at these quick tips for how to develop your own learning edge.

How to Develop Your Learning Edge

  1. Look Within: If you are like many of our clients, you most likely believe learning will give you an intellectual or skills advantage. In fact, you most likely associate learning as a purely intellectual pursuit. Yet, an often overlooked and undervalued category of learning is learning about your own emotional or behavioral nature – that is your values, style, motivators, preferences, triggers, blind spots, etc. There is a galaxy within you awaiting discovery. The greatest frontier – and point of leverage for you – is yourself. By better understanding yourself, you can empower others and spur innovation that leads to transformational results for you, your team, and your organization.
  2. Make it Real Using Assessments: Assessments can provide crucial insights that take us to our learning edge. When we receive 360 results or conceptualize how to adapt behavioral style to be more effective with peers or direct reports, we are practicing new moves and we begin to step into the new frontier. Once you identify your own personal array of tendencies, you can then learn how to adapt to others and change as you move through your career. Learn how the DISC assessment and the Leadership Circle Profile 360 can benefit you.
  3. Avoid the ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’: A sunk cost is a cost that has already been paid and cannot be recovered. A simple example is the movies. Let’s say you spend $10 to see the latest sequel. After 5 minutes, you realize it’s terrible, but you decide to stay because you’ve spent your $10. You let the sunk cost of a $10 ticket value the next two hours of your life. You should walk out and find something more fulfilling to do. When it comes to personal and professional development, the sunk cost fallacy mindset can limit your growth and prevent you from reaching your learning edge. Any number of examples can be found in the professional world. Are you reading a terrible book? Put it down and find a new one. Have you written a report only to realize your analysis is misguided? Throw it out and start over. Have you enrolled in a training program only to realize it is not beneficial to you? Stop attending and find a better alternative. The point is that we let sunk costs limit our frontier, and letting go of the time/ money/ resources spent in the past is an important step.

Looking more closely at your own behaviors and tendencies, utilizing an assessment to gain insight about yourself, and letting go of those things which you cannot change are all key pieces of stepping closer towards your learning edge. Development at the “edge” paves the way for new growth and an expansion of your perspective, capabilities and sense of what is even possible to do.

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