Self-Development: Relevance of Training and Development

“If you are not getting better with time, you are actually getting worse.” — Carol Dweck

How much can we possibly learn? Can I even learn further? Do I still need to learn?
Mindsets: By Carol Dweck

Famous Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, came up with the idea of Mindsets – An interesting demarcation of Mindsets in two types.

Training and Development

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According to Carol, people with fixed mindset believe that qualities like talent or intelligence are fixed almost forever. Therefore, they spend their time and energy on verifying their talent or intelligence instead of developing them, with a firm belief that their talent in isolation) can bring success without efforts. Decades of research has now proven it “simply wrong”.

While in a Growth Mindset, individuals are driven by the determination that almost all the basic abilities can very well be developed and enhanced by putting in dedicated hard work. This is inclusive of the many traits like talent and intelligence.

In a nutshell, almost everything can be learned at all ages with all the challenges at hand. Provided, one puts in enough of efforts and channelizes it with the help of training, etc.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

Significance of Training and Development

Amongst people with the Growth Mindset, this view produces an inclination to consistent learning which in turn results in great personal as well as professional accomplishments.
“Sharpen the Saw”: In his bestseller [Also proclaimed as one of the best Self-Help books in the world], Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen Covey has emphasized on the significance of training and developing oneself through the 7th habit, phrased as, “Sharpen the saw”.

He talks about sharpening Physical, Social/Emotional, Mental and Spiritual self, which can be achieved by many activities including Learning and Teaching. By taking time out, of the day-to-day trivia and spending it productively on training and learning, you clear the path for growth and change in your life, which may otherwise go blurred in the daily chores of livelihood.

One cannot deny that almost all successful people talk about consistent learning as one of the keys to success.

How to start learning yet again?

Let’s ask ourselves, what’s the difference between “Me a year ago” and “Me now”? Are you more learned? Have your job responsibilities changed for better? Are you making more money? Or, you are doing pretty much what you were doing this time the last year?
One may be excellent in terms of relevant traits. However, let’s just remind ourselves that over a period of years, our “Excellence” becomes the new normal.

To start with:

1. List what you want to learn : We may make a list of things we wish to learn or train ourselves on, and set quarterly targets. Choose four levels of one skill or 1 level each of four different skills. Choose two professional skills and two hobbies that you always wanted to pursue, or just make your own combination of skills and proficiency levels you want to reach every quarter. But ensure that you have one thing to learn every quarter.

2. Display it : Write it in Bold and Large!! Keep it at your desk or some space which is mostly in your sight during your productive hours.

3. Time it : Figure out how much time you can conveniently dedicate to it every day. Remember, Everyday!

Now, decide a tentative slot of the day you want to assign to it. Also, it will help if you associate it to an activity that you perform daily. If possible, take a slot in the initial part of the day [If only possible]. For example, after getting ready but before leaving work. So you get up, freshen up, get ready and start working on this skill.
It may be challenging, but they say it becomes a habit if you do something regularly almost every day for 21 days. Try it to believe it.

Learning Mechanism : Make a rough plan of the support you may need. Do you want to google, watch videos, read papers or a buy on the subject? Do you also want to connect, through social media and business networks, with an expert on the subject?
Try teaching back what you’ve learnt or talking about it to your peers in detail. This will retain the knowledge that you may have acquired. AND PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Because, as you know, that makes a man [or a woman] perfect.

You don’t have to reward yourself for it, as the result itself would be the reward. You would be more learned and more marketable in just 3 months!!

they’re happy if they’re brainy or talented, but that’s just the starting point. They understand that no one has ever accomplished great things—not Mozart, Darwin, or Michael Jordan—without years of passionate practice and learning.


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