Develop Effective Learning Skills – Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage

We always emphasize the importance of learning for our successful and productive professional life and our ability to compete in the modern job market. Our environment is changing rapidly, new technologies are affecting business models and processes, professional skillsets need constant adjustments, new jobs appear in the market. People started to realize that the degree they earn today can’t serve them for another 40+ years, and the only option to stay in the job place is regular upgrades of the existing skills or learning new skills which are in high demand.

The learning opportunities are endless, and each individual can choose the required content and the mode of learning and training. There is one aspect of learning which still needs to be addressed:

  • Are we good learners?
  • Can we learn quickly?
  • Do we understand what is our preferred mode of learning?

Effective learning skills are perceived as a competitive advantage since they help a person to respond quickly to the changes in the business environment.

In this post, we explore the importance of effective learning skills and what can be done to develop these skills.

What drives a person to become an effective learner?

There are different reasons why people are learning. For some people, learning is a natural process, others are driven by different circumstances at work or in private life. It is important to have the positive attitude towards your learning and to enjoy the process and the outcomes. We’ll look at some factors which create the drive for learning new things.

When we want to study something, we always focus on positive side of it – what we’ll gain from learning and what benefits it will bring to our life. The aspiration, motivation, and ambition are defining our desire to learn and to succeed. Otherwise, there will be always the way to resist learning. It is suggested to switch the focus from challenges of learning to its benefits; it might help to get some inspiration and courage to start learning.

Another important aspect is self-awareness which defines our ability to assess what we know, what we don’t know and what we need to know. If a person can find out what skills or knowledge are needed for his personal success, it is a great motivation to proceed with learning. Unfortunately, quite often people are hiding from themselves what they don’t know and stay satisfied with the existing level of knowledge and skills forever.

There is something we all carry from our childhood – it is curiosity. Curiosity makes us try something new, investigate and understand unknown things. Curiosity always leads to new knowledge and skills, and its application in real-life scenarios.

I am not sure about others, but when I am starting new things, I am doing really bad – I just can’t get it right from the very beginning. And only later, when I am gaining the confidence, I am performing very well. It’s always been this way.

The important fact, I don’t quit in the beginning. It seems that my mindset is vulnerable because of the poor performance and balanced the same time – I am determined to succeed. It seems that I belong to the category of people who expect mistakes in the beginning but got encouraged to learn and overcome failures.

In the modern world, the ability to acquire new skills and knowledge quickly and continually is crucial to success. If a person doesn’t know how to start learning or is not aware how to learn quickly and effectively, I’d recommend joining online courses which can help to develop required learning skills by Coursera.

Course 1. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Course Description

  • Created by: University of California, San Diego
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

This course provides access to the learning techniques used by experts from different areas: art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. Students learn about how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates portions of information. The course also covers illusions of learning, memory techniques, and dealing with procrastination. It also explores the best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping learners master tough subjects.

Learning approaches:

  • Online reading material;
  • Prerecorded videos;
  • Quizzes;
  • Projects;
  • Assignments.

Learners’ feedback

  • Wonderful course;
  • Well-presented;
  • The Videos focus on the key concepts in a fun and memorable way;
  • The additional material was always helpful;
  • The repetition (in the videos and the exams) maximized the outcome.

To enhance your learning techniques, click the link and join the course
Learning how to learn: Master learning techniques to help you master tough subjects. Join today!

Course 2. Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

Course Description

  • Created by: McMaster University
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

The course is designed to help boost person’s career and life in today’s fast-paced learning environment. Mindshift is suitable for any learner, and it teaches valuable skills such as:

  • how to get the most out of online learning,
  • how to get in touch and work with mentors,
  • the secrets to avoiding career and life ruts,
  • the value of selective ignorance over general competence.

This course provides practical advice how to learn and change effectively, and how to take life’s learning in new directions. This course is designed to show learners how to look at what they are learning, and how it can be used in real life.

Learning approaches:

  • Prerecorded videos;
  • Discussion forums;
  • Assignments;
  • Final Examination.

Learners’ feedback

  • Such a wonderful course, full of new ideas of how to shift your mind through obstacles and everyday situations we face;
  • High recommended to anyone at any stage of life;
  • It is a useful course;
  • Really enjoyable course with great teachers;
  • Concepts that are very useful to apply in real life.

To learn how to manage your learning, click the link and join the  course Mindshift: Breakthrough obstacles to learning and discover your hidden potential

Conclusion

Since we know that learning is becoming our lifetime commitment, we have to adopt methods and techniques which will make our learning quick, efficient, and optimal. Our learning abilities will define our future success.

Start now preparing yourself for lifelong learning. Click the link below and join courses offered by Coursera.
Career skills to jumpstart your future.

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4 thoughts on “Develop Effective Learning Skills – Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage”

  1. This is a great article!
    When I was studying for my degree, I thought once I’d finished it, that was the end of studying and learning for me.

    Little did I know. I have since done numerous training courses through my workplace as well as for my own personal development.

    Most companies now have a Continued Professional Development programme whereby we are encouraged to keep up-to-date with our skill set.

    I think it is important to keep abreast of what is happening in the world, through learning otherwise, we can get left behind and not only that, I know of several people who have been in a job for 30/40 years and didn’t update their skills.
    They were made redundant and found it hard to get back into the workplace because they had become deskilled – the market had changed in the 30/40 years and they didn’t keep up-to-date with any sort of training whatsoever.

    Thanks for this reminder.

    1. Dear Jacqueline,

      Thank you for stopping by my post and your encouraging comments.

      We live in the world when everything is changing so rapidly. Several days ago, our Ministry published list of jobs which are not actual anymore. I believe it will be happening now very often. 

      People need to think about retraining, getting new skills, and adjust to the “ever-changing”  market requirements. 

      Thank you for your valuable input.

      1. That’s interesting.
        This is happening at my workplace too.
        Posts which were highly sought after have now been deleted and staff in those positions are having to reapply for other posts.

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