Learning every week – 28-Feb-2020

I’m still travelling and trying to take a break. The keyword is “trying”. Unless something else occupies me, I can’t seem to get work out of my head. And that’s what I need to keep learning to do–Fill my time with things that I want to do and make it easy for myself to do them. For instance, I enjoy photography, but I rarely get around to getting the camera out and using it. I need to reduce the obstacles in the whole process of getting the camera out, shooting pictures, and getting them out of the camera, processed, and in the real world.

That’s something I will talk about later. I’ll jump straight to my learnings this week. There’s not much to write about as I tried to take it slow. But, there is always something to learn around you. And if you’re paying attention, you can’t escape it.

Great Relationships

In last week’s episode on Coaching for Leaders podcast, Colleen Bordeaux talks about creating great relationships. The episode starts with this line:

You’re the average of 5 people you spend most time with.

And that sets the tone for the whole episode. Very quickly, we reach another point that emphasises why we should be deliberate about creating relationships.

“You’re the same today that you are going to be in 5 years except the people with whom you associate and the books you read.”

There is an interesting discussion on cultivating relationships where there is an outline of the steps you would go through to do that. One of the points that struck me was to not run away from something but to run towards something. When you sit in a taxi, you say where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. But when it comes to problems, we run away from it rather than running towards an opportunity.

Training helps?

This week’s Manager Tools podcast was about how training is not the answer, but only one of the aspects of what you want as a result–behaviour change.

“Training is not about going. It’s about coming back and bringing change.”

I read somewhere that training is rarely effective. The problem is that people go to various training and learn everything they could be doing better. But when they are back, they can rarely affect any change given all other priorities people usually deal with. This is a systemic problem but the podcast covers the other side–thinking about how you invest in training and what expectations to hold.

The podcast also discusses people who are comfortable where they are. This was relevant to me as I am thinking about similar things in my work as well. They make a very apt point: The person may be comfortable being at the level where they are, but the levels are changing and they have to keep up with the updated requirements.

They are very careful throughout the episode by saying that training is not unnecessary. They suggest that you shouldn’t target training as a goal in itself. It is a behaviour change that should be your goal. Training is just a means to that goal.

Competing for attention

Attention is a highly relevant area of study today. In the opening paragraphs, I mentioned how I need to split my time into different activities I want to do and that is directly affected by my ability to pay attention. This episode on Brain Science podcast discusses the mechanism of attention as an allocation of one’s resources. The interesting bit was using the word “lens” to describe the act of focusing on something or not focusing on something (i.e., being distracted). They covered multiple angles about how attention works in various situations such as being vulnerable, dealing with fight-or-flight situations, or just using distractions intentionally to avoid pain.

That’s it for this week folks. I’m in a different city next week and hope to stick to my schedule. See you then.






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