As I sit across the table from my dear friend B, after a gin that could sink the Titanic and seafood that makes me appreciate my tastebuds and Scottish shellfish, I realise just how alive this Learning thing is.
It’s really not to be contained in classrooms, training rooms, online……all organised, neat & measurable.
It happens when you connect the stuff that is happening in your life with the available information out there.
That’s why we Google.
We don’t know something.
We want to know more.
And if I set it up so that you will “learn” from me…. all I can show you is what I believe to be true.
What I have been taught, what I understand or what has resonated for me.
I know MTBI and Facet 5 and OPQ32.
I know Dialogue & Change Curves & Situational Leadership; Adaptive Leadership approaches based on complex systems, Emotional Intelligence, Maslow’s hierarchy…
The list of what I could pull out my “theory/model Swagbag” is endless
But most of all… I know my lived experience: my sorrows and joys, my highlights and shames, my successes and failures, my flaws and strengths.
It makes sense I would pull those out too.
Together, the Models and the Experiences have helped me explain the unexplainable:
How it is to be frustrated with someone I work with.
How it is to not fit in in the Team.
How ‘The Answer’ to the really easy problem gets twisted and dulled through politics and fear.
How it is to be faced with the complexity of a loved one who is sick or ailing.
How it is to be responsible.
How it is to work as hard as I know how & still find myself in the same place.
How it is to make a different choice from that which was expected.
And so, for me, it is this:
My friend doesn’t belong to a big organisation that sends her on courses. She is smart, funny, sharp and curious.
She makes her own courses.
She learns through her kids, through her interactions with other parents and School systems and Health care systems and work.
Models and training and Leadership Courses are useful and good; Academic thinking and the application of that can be eye-opening and necessary; Coaching to distill ideas and experiences is kind of crucial.
Of course we need short, sharp times put aside to see these thing and absorb these things and share them..…
..but at the heart of it?
Learning comes through life … if you let it.