© Jim Muckle, CPF, CAEN, MBA
Much of the work done in today’s workplaces involves making sense of large amounts of information, and applying that understanding to add value to the organization’s ‘bottom line.’
To succeed in this knowledge-intensive and constantly evolving environment, we need to learn how to better understand, communicate, collaborate, adapt, manage, and otherwise “do business” in ways that are new for most of us.
Quite simply, the future belongs to learners, and those who learn faster and better will lead the way.
Although some people are naturally “quick learners”, almost anyone can develop their capacity to learn faster and better.
Learning is about:
• Sorting through information to pick out what is useful
• Understanding what you take in
• Storing your understanding so it is available to you in the future
• Recalling your understanding
• Applying your understanding to produce a useful result
There are a variety of techniques and tools that can greatly increase our capacity to learn. Here are just a few examples:
Faster Reading: many people struggle with a glut of information in their jobs, and learning to absorb the important information quickly can greatly impact productivity. Normally we process the written word as if there were a “little voice” in our heads reading the text to us. But in as little as three hours, you can learn to read visually as if you were watching a fast-paced movie rather than engaging in slow conversation. You could immediately start saving time every time you read – perhaps a lot of time.
Improved Memory: using a system known as a “memory pegging,” items to be remembered can be pegged to, or associated with, certain images in a prearranged order. In 30 minutes, you can learn to use your memory to remember lists of ten or more items – in order and backwards, and identify any item by its numerical position on the list.
Clearer Thinking: a Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which enables clearer thinking by unlocking the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a uniquely powerful manner. All it takes to make a Mind Map is blank unlined paper, coloured pens and pencils, your brain and your imagination!
Concise Writing: using readily available software such as Microsoft Word, a writing template can help you to quickly organize your thoughts, expanding the length and depth of your writing in a systematic manner.