Living what you learn
Learning agility is said to be one of the key characteristics of successful leaders.
I’d say for successful humans too.
Learning agility is the ability and willingness to learn from experience and then apply that learning to ‘perform’ successfully in new situations.
When we’re younger this process happens quite naturally without us having to give it too much thought, as we grow older we need to be more deliberate about what and how we learn from our life experiences.
For me, it’s important to externalise my experience - what happened and how I feel about it - with someone else, be it my systemic coaching supervisor, guide, mentor or close friend. I feel the learning but I can't always articulate it, and once I'm able to, it's a hallelujah moment that propels me forward to a new level of understanding, growth and capacity.
When you've experienced something in your life or work that’s challenged you (positively or negatively, big or small)...to sharpen your learning agility, give your mind and your whole system the chance to understand, process and integrate what you learned.
You can do this a few ways:
Make the monologue a dialogue. The monologue is when we're trying to think our way to understanding, often the thinking ends up cycling around and around in our minds, recreating the emotion but not moving it to understanding (and then application). Externalise it, speak to someone about the experience and have them ask questions that prompt deeper insight and reflect back to you what they hear.
Write it down. Journal what happened and how you felt about it, another way to externalise it, and reflect back on it later with fresh perspectives.
Meditate. Bring stillness to your system and give your cerebral cortex a rest. Allow your brain to drop into Theta waves and your subconscious to process the experience.
Get feedback from someone who was present. Ask someone how they perceived the situation and/or how they perceived you in the situation.
Move your body. Run, walk, swim, stretch. Allow your physical system to process the experience, let the feelings of the event move through your body and rise to the surface of your mind.
Get creative. Draw, paint, cook, garden. Allow your thinking brain to relax and your subconscious again to do the work.
Ideally, make all of them part of your learning practice.