The ROI on Learning Starts With You

p2-blog-02When I was just beginning my career designing training, I came across a primer with the catchy title “Telling Ain’t Training.” I’m often tempted to use the same concept with learners: Listening Ain’t Learning.

Learning doesn’t happen just because we listen to a lecture, attend a course, read a book, or even work with a coach. In fact, most of the learning we do, or try to do, isn’t done optimally. Some things boost learning, but a lot of things inhibit it. We’re distracted by what’s going on around us. The new information isn’t made relevant or translated into our personal life or the work place. The coach or trainer doesn’t explain things in a way that really lands for us. The learning activities are poorly designed or vague. There’s no follow-through. The interpersonal dynamics in the group are sidetracking.

But some things accelerate learning. In fact, the biggest boost to learning has nothing to do with the material, design, course or trainer. It has to do with you: your expectations, your commitment and your need. When the stakes are high, the pressure is on, and the outcome is critical, you learn best.

The Leaderlab is designed deliberately to be a learning accelerator. The Leaderlab does more than offer cutting edge skills, valuable tools, and breakthrough concepts about leadership and power. It is also an exceptional and transformational learning opportunity.

We know you don’t have time to waste. Why spend time and money attending a face-to face-training, when you can read books, download podcasts, attend a webinar, work with your coach, or even enroll in a one or two day program? All of these are much easier to do. They’re easier on your schedule, time, and wallet.

They are also far less of a commitment and investment. And here’s the catch. The less the investment, the less the return. The less you commit, the less you engage. Commitment increases return. When you invest financially and emotionally into a process, you get a greater return.

Here are 8 compelling reasons to consider making the investment and attending the Leaderlab:

  1. You become part of a tribe. You learn with a cohort, a group of colleagues who go through the program with you. A cohort fosters deep and genuine interaction, risk taking and collaboration with an extraordinary and diverse set of colleagues.
  2. Learning with others sets the bar higher. Cohort members are exceptional leaders who will expose you to new ideas and perspectives. The level of the group sets the bar higher and brings out the best in you. You strive higher than you would on your own, and expect more from yourself and from others.
  3. Your focus is exponentially better. Reading an article or taking a webinar online, you’re still in the world of work. Your phone rings and devices beep. Even if you’re not multitasking, you’re distracted and preoccupied. Leadership development needs deep, penetrating, and enduring focus. And the chief focus is you – how you think, behave, and feel. This kind of learning needs space and time devoted to that, and only that.
  4. Don’t just learn a skill, master it. Mastery comes from practicing in real time, under pressure, and on the spot. The hard ‘soft skills’ of leadership — having difficult conversations, sitting in the heat of conflict and making it productive, making criticism constructive — need to be practiced until they’re second nature.
  5. Make your learning stick. Ideas and concepts are interesting, but they don’t become new learning until they relate to the messy reality of your problems. And this only happens when learning is personalized, when the facilitator can bring the learning alive, relate it to each person’s context and coach them in mastering the skills required.
  6. What you learn in a team, you can apply to your team. Whatever you learn has to be taken back to work. Learning in a cohort means learning with and through others, as a team member. It’s easier to take your learning back to your team, department or organization, and know you can do it with others.
  7. Dialogue deepens learning. Learning in a group accelerates change by stimulating deep thinking, promoting critical reflection, and helping you leverage ideas to generate something new. And learning continues outside the classroom – at lunch, breakfast, dinner, and on breaks. This is an enormous value added; creativity and “aha” moments happen when we have time to chew it over with others, in a relaxed and playful setting.
  8. Build a network for life. The relationships forged in a cohort are ones that have been genuinely developed and tested. You will have forged deep bonds and gained a network of trusted colleagues that will remain throughout your life.

We can go on. But don’t just take our word for it. Enroll in the next Leaderlab and see for yourself. Invest in something life-changing.

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