3 Most Common Barriers to Learning

Your greatest learning comes when you are open to new information and willing to undergo the transformation it takes to integrate the new information with the status quo.  I frequently hear students and employees tell me “it’s hard” or “its takes too long” when they are completing assignments or adapting to a new system.  This is true.  Learning requires us to stretch and grow, push ourselves beyond our norm, and disables our ability to work on automatic mode.

1.  Moving beyond your Comfort Zoneheadset books

Each and every day you are able to do a multitude of tasks and respond to questions and demands at work and at home automatically.  These are things that have been learned and are now within your comfort zone.  Learning requires you to think, act or say things differently and therefore disrupts your ability to react instinctively.  It also challenges your beliefs.  Your greatest learning will come when you are on the verge of your comfort zone — that place where you may feel like you’ll never achieve the goal, or where you are most uncomfortable.   Learning involves change… a process that upset your normal and allows you to push the limits of your comfort zone in a way that expands your horizons and opens new opportunities.   Next time you feel like your assignment is hard, or you are procrastinating to avoid the task at hand, be open to pushing yourself — you are on the verge of a great breakthrough!

2.   Not recognizing the extent of the challenge

How often have you attempted to undertake a change where you had to learn new techniques, integrate new information or changed how you do things only to realize part way through the process that you took on more than you could handle?  In contrast, have you over-prepared for or over-thought a transformation only to realize it was so much easier than you expected?  In both situations, over-estimating or under-estimating a challenge can pose a huge barrier to the learning process.  The solutions is to take the time to establish an implementation plan for the change where you know what you want to achieve and identify the steps and resources needed to get there.   In the May 21, 2013 issue of my newsletter I shared the PDCA (Plan/Do/Check/Act) methodology.  Using this approach you are more likely to minimize these barriers and increase the success of learning and leading change.   You will also have more buy-in from other people who will be affected by these changes as they will know what is going tobstacleo happen and when.

3.  Disagreement

When a change is suggested how often do you disagree with the need to change and offer up numerous reasons why the current system or thinking is “just fine”?  Disagreement creates an obstacle to learning.  It can be caused by fear, an unwillingness to move outside the comfort zone or over-estimating the challenge.  When you position yourself in opposition to the change, you create another obstacle to learning.  Disagreement generally closes the mind to learning – and understanding another perspective.  When you feel yourself switching into disagreement, step back and relook at the situation from a different perspective and how the changes or learning process could be worthwhile.  This process alone will enable you to learn more about the scenario you instinctively opposed, even if it doesn’t change your mind.

These are just three barriers to learning.  As a leader, you want to remain open to and lead the changes within your life, your career and your business.  The world is changing around you and maintaining the status quo will leave you stuck and unable to compete, advance and enjoy the fruits of your efforts.   Be open to taking the time and effort to learn and expand your mind, and move from your comfort zone into new horizons… where your goals and dreams live!

Can I help you navigate your transformation?maze
As a Coach and Consultant I am available to work with you to navigate the transformations you wish to undertake by offering you support, encouragement, action planning and implementation.  Contact me if you want to reach your full potential, lead a transformation efficiently and effectively, or break though the fear of success.   Book now


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Attention Avid Readers

Are you a great reader? Love connecting with other business professionals? Do you love to discuss business topics and learn at the same time?  Why not join me this coming Wednesday (Sept 21) to discuss the best seller, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.  I am facilitating a Make-It-Business BookClub meeting… A coffee shop MBA.   Don’t procrastinate… take action and sign up today!

In his book, Tracy examines procrastination and offers 21 tips to create new habits so you achieve more in less time.  Each point he addresses includes some realistic and achievable remedies that you can implement today.  I’m already noticing some big changes in how I am working — and you can too.

Don’t have time to read the book before Wednesday… check out this summary by Yolanda Allen

Sign up at www.makeitbusiness.com  1st meeting is complimentary.

I hope to see you at the bookclub meeting.

Get More Done with New Habits

The best way to get something done is to begin.”

~Author Unknown

I cannot think how many times I have been reminded to get things done before they grow in size in my mind!  Can you relate to this?  I am a very self-motivated person and I achieve a lot each week but there are tasks (both at home and at work) that I push aside to a later time.  As I have been working with other professionals and business owners I have realized this is not a unique trait.  Even those people I thought were super efficient have times when they procrastinate.

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Procrastination is an automatic habit that causes us to needlessly delay timely, relevant, priority activities to another day.  The good news is that as a habit, it can be changed.  The challenge is that procrastination is a reinforced habit, meaning we don’t always experience the unpleasant outcomes of our choices/actions.  We often beat ourselves up because we delay action on a task or project.  Inaction is not necessarily procrastination as long as what you are doing is as important as the task you are delaying.

Interestingly enough, procrastination is on the rise.  Is this because our world is racing by and we just don’t have enough time to complete everything we want to do?  Or, is this because we have too many distractions, between email, the internet, meetings, games and social media?  Researchers at the University of Michigan indicate that society has adopted more of a social philosophy in contrast to the hard work and prosperity attitude previously prevalent.

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