A New Framework for Learning

What skill do we rely on our entire lives, from birth to old age to survive, but by adulthood we take mostly for granted?

Hint: It’s easy fall into this, especially for those whose first 20 or so years have been filled with formal education.

The answer is “learning.”

For many professionals, learning becomes an annual certification requirement or a specific job-training requirement. As a greater proportion of our lives shifts from learning to doing, it’s easy to see learning as a nice-to-have instead of the powerful tool we once wielded on a daily basis.

As I continue into the latter part of my career, I am obsessed with learning about learning.

  • How do we learn?
  • When do we learn?
  • Why do we learn so easily sometimes and others not?
  • What is the point of learning?

And from a purely practical standpoint, what are the differences between virtual and in-person learning?

If you’re an office worker, chances are you have a big stake in the debate over the future of work and how much of it will be in the office vs. virtual.

It’s too early to predict the final shape of the workplace of our future, but many companies are trying to get ahead of the curve by preparing for a hybrid working model — enabling certain work to happen in the physical confines of an office and other work to be performed remotely.

Putting issues of trust and productivity to the side for a moment, let’s focus on one very real issue that is relatively new for most companies.

How do you build camaraderie and chemistry in a virtual context? How do you get the benefits that come from informally meeting people without having to set up meetings? Do we just accept more disconnection?

Of course not! And I wouldn’t be the Connection Counselor if I thought that was at all an acceptable notion.

More than Meets the Eye

The other day I was talking with a mentor who is working on some “future of learning” efforts for their company. Something they said made a light switch on in my head.

Learning can serve a broader purpose than just developing skills. In fact, the best learning experiences at the best learning institutions are much more than the sum of the offerings in the course catalog.

It’s about the friends and rivals you make, the ideas you inspire in each other, and the sense of community that can only be developed by going through an arduous experience together.

This applies to virtual learning just as much, if not more than it does to brick-and-mortar classroom learning.

How does this happen?

With some awareness and minor adjustments, lectures can turn into discussions. Note-taking can turn into group projects. Strangers can turn into friends and allies.

In this way, learning is not just about what you learn. It’s about what you experience, how you connect, and a golden opportunity to improve connection.

“The team that learns together, earns together.”

Or if talking about money seems gauche to you, how about this?

“The team that learns together, turns together.”

When gears are connected and aligned perfectly, amazing power can be generated. The alternative is gears spinning by themselves. No matter how powerfully they spin, their impact is much less than it could be — than it should be.

Let’s elevate learning to tap into its power to create a better, more connected workplace — physical and virtual.

Get More Executive Presence

As the Connection Counselor, Joe Kwon helps busy professionals elevate their careers by teaching them how to connect to anyone, anytime, anywhere. His emphasis is on practical learning, delivered in an entertaining, heartfelt, and inclusive manner.

An acclaimed coach and keynote speaker with over 20 years of experience in Corporate America, his goal is to help you unlock the best version of yourself.

Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Virginia (Go Hoos!), a law degree from Georgetown University (Hoya Saxa!), and lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

Check out Joe’s leadership book, Unlock Your Executive Presence: Feel like a Boss.

If you like podcasts, check out Executive Presence Morsels, the only daily program created to improve your Executive Presence in just 5–10 minutes. Every weekday at 7 a.m. sharp we deliver fresh and tasty insights designed to elevate your career. You deserve it!

To find out more about Executive Presence and access free leadership videos, podcasts, and guides, go to www.connectioncounselor.com.

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Keynote speaker on Leadership and Executive Presence, with a heart for promoting diversity

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Joe Kwon

Joe Kwon

Keynote speaker on Leadership and Executive Presence, with a heart for promoting diversity

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