When it comes to carrying out our day-to-day tasks, how many times have we honestly stopped and asked ourselves - Is there a better way of doing things? Am I handling the matter the right way? Are there other more efficient options I could try out instead?
Rather like driving a car, many of us have been doing it for years and might consider ourselves competent drivers.
Each day we get into the car and we don’t even have to think about what we are doing. We work on auto-pilot. Yet, if we had to re-sit our test tomorrow week, how do we think we would do?
Anyone of us can develop bad habits. We get into a routine of doing something the same way for years and we get comfortable with it. We become set in our ways and we don’t even know it.
Each time I run a workshop I meet many different types of people. Some will be eager to learn and are hungry for information. They might be new to their role and have little knowledge. Others may have years of experience and are keen to improve or refresh their skills. I may also meet attendees who are a little reluctant to change. They are doing their job for years and feel there is nothing new to learn.
I accept that everyone will have different views, depending on where they are in their lives or perhaps in their career. Some of us may love to be challenged. Others may dislike change or even get nervous and doubt their ability. Often, we get very comfortable and may not want to break the status quo. And on other occasions, we have reached a certain level of competency, so we may not even realise there is so much more out there to learn.
Yet, it's good to take heed of the advice of the American writer David T. Freeman as he wrote, “The more you know, the more you realise how much you don’t know – the less you know, the more you think you know”.
Often, it can take us becoming bored or being faced with an unexpected challenge before we are willing to open our minds to new ideas. Sometimes, we come at it willingly and other times we are hesitant.
According to the Author Roy T. Bennett “Change happens at the end of your comfort zone”. As a trainer, I believe the secret of any good training programme is to begin each workshop by helping learners gain a greater awareness of where they are at in order that they may open their minds and listen to new ideas.
It’s healthy to have an inquisitive mind. So, it’s the trainer’s job to encourage trainees to ask questions, explore options, and challenge different ways of doing things. All of this takes time and can vary depending on the mindset of each person.
Once people get to a point of openness, their confidence grows. And as they gain new insights and develop fresh perspectives, it is always refreshing to see them discover new ways of doing things.
Very importantly, continuous learning gives people the opportunity to stay at the top of their game. Whether they are learning or refreshing skills, trainees will learn to think on their feet more often and successfully deal with many different situations. This, in my opinion is where the real investment in training really lies.