Learning Doesn’t End in the Classroom

woman looking down contentedly at her paperwork

Learning Doesn’t End in the Classroom

Like many of you, we belong to professions that require us to be licensed or certified to practice. Every year, Tandem Partners coaches and consultants engage in continuing education, just like our friends who are social workers, engineers, estheticians, and architects. We do it to comply with standards of practice, to uphold our credentials and to maintain membership in our professional associations. But mostly, we do it because we want to be lifelong learners.

If there’s anything we’ve learned so far in life, it’s that our best opportunities come when we’re keeping up with new ideas and advances. When we’re intellectually curious, and interacting with people who challenge us, the ideas just seem to flow. And while we value the traditional, structured education that we received earlier in life, it’s the unstructured everyday learning that really makes a difference.

As business owners and leaders, your education is never over. Here are seven ways you can use the world as your classroom and cultivate your ongoing learning.

  1. Visit Discovery.com for fascinating articles on exploration, science, nature and space, or follow the Daily Curiosity podcast and get smarter about the world around you every day.
  2. Explore the 25 most popular TED talks or feed your curiosity with TED-Ed animations like The Physics of Surfing or Why Do We Itch?
  3. Read Peter Thomson’s How 50 Cups of Coffee Can Change Your Life and then make a list of the first five people you’re going to have coffee with.
  4. Make it a point to learn one interesting thing every day about at least one person you come across. Everybody’s got a story to tell and we’ve all got something to learn.
  5. Ask your business associates what they’re reading or scan your friends’ lists on goodreads.com to find new books you want to read.
  6. Visit Quora.com and ask any question you like (“What are some travel hacks no one talks about?”) or sign up to follow topics you’re interested in.
  7. Practice morning pages – three pages of longhand stream-of-consciousness writing first thing in the morning. You might be amazed at the insights you can glean from your groggy self.

If you could learn something new, or from someone new, what or who would it be? How would that make you a better person or leader? Learning doesn’t stop at the schoolhouse door.