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Learning Curves

May 29, 2015

Learning Curves

by Jeanine Izzo

Learning Curves

Recently, I visited the campus of my undergrad Alma mater which was 1,800 miles away from where I grew up.  Talk about a blast of memories surging forward!  It reminded me that we are much more capable of contributing at a higher level than we typically realize.  Even though I was not even touching 20, I was responsible.  I held a full class load, volunteer positions within student organizations and two part time jobs.  I managed to do my own laundry, cleaning and cooking while keeping my grades up and enjoying myself.  Certainly, this flurry of activity and responsibility at a relatively young age is shared among the majority of us.  Just when we master all the ins and outs…it’s time to move onto something new…our first full time job.

In order for us to keep growing, this pattern continues multiple times throughout our life and career.  We reach a point where we’re at the top of one learning curve, perhaps we’ve even been coasting (or recuperating) for a while…then it’s time to stretch ourselves again.  Along the way, we come across a variety of people.  Some are indifferent, some put blockades in our way intentionally, others unintentionally…while others work to remove the barriers with and for us.  Some do unto others that which was done to them and some find an improved way.  Along with building our strength of character, these experiences help us choose the type of person we want to be.

Reflecting back on college and my early career, I realize how many contributions I was able to make at a young age.  In many cases, my ideas were well received and implemented which motivated me to keep contributing.  In other cases, I felt limited by those more experienced than me who seemed to be purposefully trying to squash me.  Each situation provided a learning opportunity.  The experiences of our lives, good and bad, make us who we are today.  They drive our passions, our perspectives, our decisions…our way of being.

Whether you are embarking on a new job/company/relationship/project, a promotion or a changing manager…use a blend of self-initiative and a support crew to help you rise up the curves of learning more quickly while providing value.  Keep in mind that it is not enough to just seek support, we must also provide support to others through new endeavors and sticky occurrences.  Regardless of your age and position, you can add to the success of others.  Below I offer some ideas on what you can do to lift others up and also how you can help yourself move forward faster.

Forward Moving Tips:
Support Crew – As you welcome recent grads, new employees and current peers to new positions, think about how you feel when placed in a new situation.

  1. Draw out, listen and utilize their fresh, applicable, ideas
  2. Take advantage of opportunities to further their company/industry knowledge
  3. Care enough to provide specific and timely feedback
  4. Foster relationships between them and other team members
  5. Realize that they have had meaningful experiences that can benefit you and the team
  6. Invite them to lunch

Newbies – Whether you are newly graduated, have a new position or have changed companies, these tips are for you.

  1. Listen more than you talk
  2. Ask questions that you need to know the answer to even if they seem rudimentary
  3. Contribute your thoughts and ideas
  4. Seek feedback and clarification (find people who care about your development)
  5. Know that you have the ability to provide value from day one
  6. Invite others to lunch

Certainly, you have a number of other ideas based on your experiences in giving and receiving (or not receiving) support.  Make it a point to take one action within the next week to improve your learning curve and someone elses too.

For assistance with moving forward with more focus, confidence and success along your journey,  Contact Viage Partners today.

© Viage Partners 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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