Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How we learn

Last night at the KC Chapter meeting for PMI, the guest speaker was Cindy Meyer of LeaderQor Associates. Cindy focuses on leadership development and her presentation looked at how we can learn and achieve new goals.

According to Cindy, we learn only 2% from either inspirational or impacting activities. Inspirational would be listening to that great motivational speaker. Impacting is some major event, such as having a heart attack. The rest of our learning comes from spaced repetition. Think about how you memorized your multiplication tables in primary school.

This is consistent with other messages I've heard. One specific statistic is that it takes 21 days of repeated behavior to change a habit or create a new one. There's that repetition again.

Cindy laid out 7 steps for goal achievement:
  1. Set up goals that are SMART (specific, measurabe, achievable, relevant, time-bound).
  2. Understand the rewards or consequences for either reaching or not reaching the goal.
  3. Understand the obstacles in your way.
  4. Develop the solution to reach your goal.
  5. Detail the action steps for the solution.
  6. Assign target dates for the action steps.
  7. Delegate tasks as appropriate (obviously this is for business goals, not personal ones).
Nothing surprising or earth shattering here. It's along the lines of Getting Things Done; break down your goals into pieces that can be executed on a day by day basis, the next action.

So what are you waiting for? Have you had that great idea that you never got around to? What can you do today to start working on that goal? It may only be 1 small task, but if you keep at it, you can reach your goal.

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