Books are fine – I love books! But when we’re learning something new which is more conceptual than factual, it takes a lot of time. Subjects like chemistry, stats, mathematics, etc are more easily learned in books than is a topic such as managing people, managing your career, etc.
However, books are a good starting point. This is a way to get the “vocabulary” of the subject you’re interested in learning – and certainly teachers and instructors clarify what is contained in books.
Often overlooked is going to direct sources of information. Not the internet. Not the librarian. Not your friend.
Let’s say a person is mid-way in their career and that person has decided that their career needs a boost. Often this person will go to the internet and learn from others there which is fine except you really never know who you are learning from – are these people truly knowledgeable or have they just regurgitated material they have found in books and on the net?
Often, as most people do, the most obvious resource is often not utilized. Whether you’re working for government, non-profits or corporations, you get to know names of people who are successful or at least appear to be successful in their careers. If you’re in that situation and want to give your career a boost, contact these people and ask them if they could provide a few pointers to help.
The same goes for anything else you want to learn – go directly to the source – – the person who is successful in that area. Talk to them. Most will be happy to help. Some won’t. Some people are not interested in helping others – they figure they did it the hard way, so should everyone else. However, the majority of successful people will help others.
For instance, if you’re interested in creating a little extra income on the internet, start with helpful people. Here’s an example. You’ll be amazed how simple it can be but if you tried researching online or reading massive amounts of information, it would be very time consuming and discouraging.
How do you learn faster and easier? Talk directly to successful people in your area of interest. It’s that simple:
- prepare some good questions ahead of time
- develop really, really good listening and reflective listening skills
- call up several people you are aware of who are successful to make appointments (take them out for lunch or coffee – people are more willing to talk longer over lunch or coffee)
- meet with them – be polite, not aggressive
- most importantly – send them a thank you after the meeting AND
- keep in touch with them – let them know how you have utilized their advice and how it has helped you – it’s a great way to build your network
There are some highly competitive arenas in which people are less willing to help others as they are protecting their “territories” and jobs, but, even there, you’ll find some good souls willing to talk about their successes.
Learning faster and easier is all about learning directly from other people.
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