In all the books I’ve read about business and leadership I found one common theme — be willing to learn.
This had always been just a generic lesson to me, but now I understand more than ever how important it is to keep wanting to learn. Losing the drive to learn has very scary results. One result that I’ve found is that in the workplace, people who stop learning are the ones who end up getting trapped in a routine.
There are different learning theories and learning methods in Psychology, and I prefer to classify them this way: learning by yourself and learning from others. One good way to learn by yourself is by reading. Recently I’ve been getting back into reading books. But learning without applying is as useful as having a genius asleep during meetings.
This is where learning from others comes in. We all have bosses, and they each have their own personalities and leadership styles. Personally, I like working under bosses who use the coaching style, which to me is a method that is terribly underrated. Coaching makes the most valuable information available to me — feedback. What I learn, I apply and I get feedback for applying it.
This is something I like discussing with my bosses. I tell them that I appreciate feedback, especially negative feedback, because I know it can help me improve myself. I usually get uneasy when I don’t get any, and I end up asking for feedback when I don’t. Whatever the outcome, I end up feeling better because I can either get commended or get tips from the experts.
However, getting feedback must not be confused with getting reprimanded. I do not like getting reprimanded. In fact, I hate it. Feedback is constructive; reprimanding is letting off steam (and can sometimes be misplaced).
I’ve gotten my feedback for the day, from an officemate of mine. We were discussing this learning method and she was reminding me to also learn by myself. Edie said, “if you have your own say, people will trust you more easily.”