One of the advantages of doing something for a long time is that it enables us to recognise patterns and pattern recognition is a useful human trait. It is thought that pattern recognition allows batsmen to notice what sort of ball the bowler is likely to bowl. The batsman recognises the minute differences in the run up much more quickly and accurately than he can consciously decipher the details. I have been coaching business owners and leaders for a long time now and have developed a similar ability to recognise patterns.
One of the interesting patterns is how people react to new knowledge and implementing new behaviours. In my mind people’s attitude towards this falls somewhere along a spectrum. At one end we have people who are very slow to accept or absorb any new thought, new ideas or alternative thinking and as a consequence they are unlikely to change their behaviours at all. At the opposite end we have people who quickly take on new ideas and fresh concepts and who implement new behaviours quickly and willingly; and then of course we have all the various shades of grey in between.
When I am working with groups this is most noticeable. Having received the same information, in the same way, at the same time certain individuals may do nothing more than show a mild interest while others will dash back to the workplace and implement some or all of what they have learned quickly, enthusiastically and effectively. Although it does depend upon the context I have noticed that generally it is the same people who hesitate and the same people who act. I am sure you can imagine the correlation between the individual’s growth and the growth of the business.
My own coach pointed out to me when I first began coaching that I was unusual in that I would rapidly learn and implement. I didn’t fully understand at the time the significance of what she said but I now recognise how that specific pattern enabled me to quickly build the business, build my skills, win the accolades and help so many clients to build their businesses and get results which my profession is all about.
More recently I have noticed that when I have my game head on, when I am at my best, I not only learn eagerly, quickly and comprehensively but I implement enthusiastically and effectively. When I am off my game or not at my best, less so. What about you? How quickly and eagerly do you learn? The fact that you are reading this blog might indicate that you are a keen learner. How readily, how quickly, how effectively do you implement? Where on the spectrum are you? Remember progress comes from taking different actions. It is not just what we know but what we do with what we know. As the old saying goes; if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. To get different results we have to do something different.
Jim Collins, Peter Senge and many others have proven the causal links between learning, action and great results. Benjamin Franklin said “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move”. Which class are you in?
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