When was the last time you learned something new? Being a newbie again, can be a wonderful experience. People who thrive have a sense of learning and vitality, as Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath found. Flow, as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed, is the state where you are challenged and learn, but though there is a “stretch” you are not challenged beyond your competence.
Positive cultures are always cultures where people are open to learn. On a daily basis, leaders can establish a learning culture by being open to new ideas. Leaders can praise people who ask nasty questions. Or ask who wants to play the Devil’s Advocate role in the next meeting.
“Really?” could be a default question-response after each statement. Organize a workshop about the power of questions. Make it a game to ask more than to tell, for everyone. Asking is the door to learning.
In addition, stimulate people to acquire new knowledge and skills by giving them time and a budget to follow training or education, to read books, go to conferences, or to learn something new completely outside of their job field.
Leaders as learners
Going through the learning stages from unconsciously incompetent (you don’t know what you cannot do) to unconsciously competent (you’re no longer consciously aware of your acquired competence, it’s internalized) can help people to develop openness and learning skills – maybe even empathy for others. What’s better: to role-model this as a leader!When was the last time you learned something new? Click To Tweet
For me, being a seasoned professional in my fifties, it was an eye-opener to do the beginner-course of rowing. I didn’t know how to treat the boats and oars, how to carry them, how to row in the right way (while it seemed so easy watching from the shore). I knew nothing and had no skills in this field.
It had been a long time since I was such a beginner at something! I loved the experience as it made me aware of what praise and feedback did to me, how I compared myself with others, what my inner critic was saying, why a patient teacher was helpful – and so on.
Highly recommended for anyone! Send yourself to a tango class, start drawing or learn to play an instrument. Yes, all of you leaders, too!
This is book post #77 – Part “WE”
For more insights and tips, order my book Developing a Positive Culture
Check out the online Positive Culture Academy. Let’s be Positive Agents who do revolution by evolution: one interaction at a time, one person at a time. Subscribe to the Academy’s mailing list so I can keep you posted!
If you’re confused, check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.
By the way, if you want to contribute to a positive workplace culture, my next open workshop on Positive Culture Change Leadership is scheduled for 24-26 September 2018! More information and registration is only a mouse click away.
© Copyright Marcella Bremer, 2018. All rights reserved.