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Why is Continous Learning is a Key to Success?

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

According to the World Economic Forum 2020 Job report[1], the future of work will include new technical skills, specialized industry skills, and core business skills. This evolution entails the capability to constantly renew one’s skills. As a matter of fact, research[2] suggests that skills generally have a “half-life” of about five years (two and a half years for technical skills), which means that after 5 years the skills you’ve learned become obsolete.

Forbes Human Resources Council[3] named the top two skills that are in most demand below:

- Growth mindset: learning and being flexible

- Continuous learning

How can we keep the pace of this evolution? How do we “learn how to continuously learn?” Here are some factors that enhance our learning capability[4]:

Self-direction: As a person matures and defines his/her self-concept, they develop the need to feel responsible for their actions and be treated as a person who is capable of establishing their own direction. That’s when an adult moves from being dependent to taking accountability for his/her own choices.

Uniqueness: Adults are generally more aware of their unique identity and different learning needs, thus a personalized curriculum based on a degree of personal responsibility and individual choice is necessary so that the learning results from within oneself.

Experience: The more we grow and mature, the more our experience becomes a major resource for learning. Experiential learning is the most effective way to go, through problem solving and discussions, applying what we learned to the issue at hand.

Readiness to Learn: Learning is driven by change because we need to continue learning to keep up with changes. Change produces those situations that trigger the need for learning something new.

Orientation to Learning: As we mature, our time perspective shifts from the delayed application of knowledge to immediate application, and for that reason, our orientation toward learning tends to shift from subject-centered to problem-centered.

Motivation to Learn: The internal factors are the strongest motivation propellers in adults, as they involve self-esteem and self-actualization. Also, research shows that when adults are recognized and appreciated for their individual contributions, they are best motivated to succeed in their learning goals (the need for belonging gets satisfied).

When we learn something new and then put these new skills into practice, we take a risk since we are not sure that we will 100% succeed at the first trial. Therefore, organizations need to create a safe space that can be defined as “the shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.”[5]

Psychological safety makes individuals feel secure and capable of changing and, consequently, learning. This term suggests a sense of confidence that others will not dismiss or harm someone for speaking up, admitting an error, or asking for help. This confidence arises from mutual respect and trust between the student and the teacher and subsequently among team members and, most importantly, between team members and the leader.

The last important factor that supports our capacity to learn is our inclination to constantly learn. The more we learn the more we are able to learn. Our brain is like a muscle, it improves its performance with constant training. It’s like when we learn in our brain we opened new paths.

Today, start thinking “what skills would I need to learn?” “Which one would I like to learn?” and find one which matches both criteria. Continue to look for resources on the internet that is an invaluable source of knowledge. If you aim at obtaining an official certification, look for the schools teaching that topic like the Group Coaching Institute.

If you’re looking to learn more about how a coaching certification can elevate your skills and your organization, you can sign up for our free virtual event here on May 4th at 12 PM EST / 6 PM CET. We can’t wait to see you there!

[1] Worl Economic Forum ; Jobs of Tomorrow; Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy; January 2020 [2] IBM Research Insights ; The enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap; 2019: [3] [4] Excerpts from the article by Selika Cerofolini, Anna Gallotti, Jody Julien, Jo Leymarie: Developing impactful learning cultures, 2020 [5] Edmondson, Amy. Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams. Sage Publications, 1999.

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