The Fastest Way to Learn a New Skill

I truly believe that investing in ourselves through learning (and taking action!) is the #1 factor that defines what we’ll achieve in life and at work. 

And speaking of work, training and development are simply non-negotiables for career success.

It used to be people climbed their way up the ladder for 30 years at the same company. They learned from their bosses and if they had the potential for more, they eventually moved up to the next level. And if they didn’t, then they stayed in the same role for years if not decades.

But the world has changed.

People move jobs, and even careers, more often.

Fast-growing startups often don’t have enough experienced leaders that others can learn from.

The gig economy is a completely new alternative for workers to consider.

I believe these are all good things.

But realistically it also means that not every company you work for is going to be as equipped in providing your training and development needs as you’d like them to be.

This is why it’s so important to own this yourself. While it’s nice if a company invests in you, you can’t rely on it.

Ultimately, you’re 100% responsible for your career and that means you’re also 100% responsible for your learning and development. 

I bet you can tell that I’m passionate about this 🙂

And because of that, I’d like to share with you a key principle that I have learned throughout the years and use whenever I want to get better at something or learn something new.

The principle is the Plus, Equal, Minus combination (+=-). 

Let me explain…

Plus +

A plus is your mentor, coach, manager, trainer, etc. This is a person who is a few steps ahead of you on your learning journey who is equipped to guide, train, or teach you whatever it is that you want to learn.

It’s someone who has gone before you and has been successful at it. With this in place, we not only learn faster but also easier because we can avoid some of the common pitfalls that others had to learn the hard way.

Equal =

In addition to having a plus who is a few steps ahead of you to guide you, it’s also beneficial to have an equal or a group of equals around you for support. Equals are your peers, and your support group to turn to as you learn.

Equals are at the same level as you and are acquiring similar new knowledge and skills, and these people have similar goals, challenges, interests, etc.

You can share your knowledge with your equals and lean on each other for support along the way when needed.

Some great examples here are study groups, book clubs, and new moms groups. In the work context, it is the peer groups and support networks that are incredibly important.

Minus –

Along your educational journey, it’s also helpful to have a minus to share your knowledge with. This is a person who is a few steps behind you on your learning journey.

As you share the knowledge that you have acquired with another person for their personal benefit, it settles into your own memory banks a bit deeper and will make it easier for you to fully own the new skill or knowledge.

Combining these three key elements will help you to learn and absorb new information and skills faster and easier than anyone else.

Now, over to you… what is it that you want to learn in 2020? Think about how you can get a plus, an equal and a minus in place.

If leadership skills are what you want to learn or strengthen this year, then the Leadership Circle might just be the perfect program for you. It’s based on the Plus, Equal, Minus concept and will give you the ongoing training, insight, coaching, and support that you’ll need to make a huge leap forward in your job this year. Check it out. You got nothing to lose and so much to win!

What is it that you want to achieve?

And that do you need and are you going to do to make it happen?

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