As a parent, you learn so much from your kids. As babies, they teach us the wonder of creation and thus bring out our protective instincts. Later as they start to grow, we enjoy the simple things again as we see them through their eyes. Suddenly we find ourselves looking at the water coming out of the faucet and enjoy the expression of wonder on their faces and then the laughter as they touch it and splash it.
As a second grade teacher, you see how different a group of seven-year-olds can be. For example, a math lesson on telling time presented in the early fall results in approximately 25% of the second graders actually learning how to tell time. Of course that also includes a few who already knew how to tell time. In January, the telling time topic is presented again, and another 40% catch on. Later in the school year, we get back to same topic, and now most of the others catch on. All of the class covered the same material and did the same homework sheets. Why didn’t they all get it in October?
The answer is simple. Some weren’t ready. As unique human beings, we all have different interests and different talents. We all learn at our own rate, influenced by our surroundings and our needs.
As adults, our natural curiosity is curbed by the demands of our life. Family, work, education, social relationships demand our time and focus. So much so that we don’t ever seem to have any time to just explore. Any little slice of free time we do manage to happen upon usually turns into an easy chair, feet up, book or TV and a glass of our favorite beverage. So how do adults learn new things?
Again, the answer is simple: Need to Know. Our work demands we use new software or we get a promotion or new job that demands new skills. We move to a new location like Austin, TX, and suddenly we need to know how to line dance. In our busy, stressful lives, data that isn’t useful now is tossed aside. We don’t learn it until we need it.
But, let’s consider if you stepped out of that rat race and set aside one hour a week to move yourself forward. To do some research on a topic that might be useful. For example, you may have had a new energy-saving thermostat installed, but if the HVAC guy didn’t explain how to use it and just left the booklet, you may not be using any of the new features. (Here’s a warning: if you do decide to try the auto turndown to 55 and auto turnback up to 70 feature when you go out of town, don’t set the turnup feature to kick in 5 minutes before you return home. It does take more than 5 minutes to warm up your whole house!)
Understanding that our clients are adults who mainly operate on a Need to Know model, we will continue to offer them a free monthly webinar covering different features of our Spitfire Project Management System. These webinars cover new functionality and little known tips, as well as more basic information, so that all who are ready to absorb new-to-them information can do so.
Here’s to everyone learning new things in the new year.
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