Mark recently discovered a brilliant TED Talk and showed a client the video to wrap up their six-month management development programme in order to focus delegates’ minds on continuous learning as a leader. It’s a real thought-provoker and a great topic for Learning at Work Week.
I’d strongly encourage any leader or manager to check out Eduardo Briceño’s wonderful TED Talk on ‘how to get better at the things we most care about’. In summary, he tells us that effective people and teams alternate seamlessly between what he calls the ‘learning zone’ and the ‘performance zone’. When we’re in the learning zone, we focus our energies on activities designed to help us improve. We look at the things we haven’t mastered yet and accept that we’ll make mistakes as we progress. It’s in this zone that we maximise future growth and ultimately future performance.
Conversely, when we’re in the performance zone, we concentrate on what we’ve already mastered and try to minimise any mistakes. It’s in this zone that most of us usually focus our energy, which, he argues, hinders growth and, ironically, future performance.
The first step in redressing the balance between the zones is making the time and creating the headspace to be in the learning zone. But where do you then go? Where do you focus your learning? Here’s where 360° feedback tools come in – with their unique insight into what areas you need to develop mastery in. There are a lot of 360° products out there, but I genuinely think Rambutan’s own unique and bespoke behavioural leadership tool Rambutan Evolve, combined with one-to-one coaching is one of the best in the market. Rambutan Evolve is based on our study of the best traits from thousands of leaders in hundreds of organisations over the last decade. The tool provides quantitative and qualitative comparisons of behaviour mastering those traits, clustered under the headings inspire, listen, empower, manage, collaborate and demonstrate. It isn’t psychometrics or a personality assessment – it’s a behaviour-based leadership tool which means the focus is always on which behaviours require further mastery. It’s the perfect starting point for your learning zone plan.
If there’s just one thing you could take from #LearningatWorkWeek and its theme #shapingthefuture, I’d say it should be to make a personal commitment to adopting a growth and learning mindset and then creating the right environment for you to learn in, by seeking the feedback of others, rather than a single-minded focus on performance.
So why not be brave and get some 360° feedback on what you need to focus on? Make mistakes, learn, master, evolve and shape your own future… and let us know if we can help as we have had years of experience and great results with clients!