My daughter recently started in an advanced literacy class in her primary school – and I love the fact that one of the first things they did was to hand out workbooks for each child. These books were to be used for reflection on the stories they read – from Tom Sawyer to the Jungle Book, there are opportunities for learning available. But the thing is that we don’t learn the lesson from reading the book.
We learn the lesson by taking the story in, and considering how we would behave in similar situations. We learn by looking at similarities and differences to our own life. We look for words and concepts we don’t understand and attempt to extend our vocabulary and comprehension. We practice using these new thoughts and concepts to communicate with one another, learning as we go.
It’s easy to think that we are learning as we gain experience, but the truth is very often the opposite. Instead of being able to identify new and creative solutions based on our experience, we too easily mis-identify situations and problems as being the same as what we’ve seen before. We jump to conclusions and allow our biases to prevent us from thinking things through in any detail.
In your business practice, you will come across new situations that seem familiar, but if you haven’t taken the time to reflect on and absorb the lessons along the way, it’s likely that you will wind up missing out on some great opportunities.
What is the number one habit you have in your life to reflect, learn and grow?