It’s not “a” thing.

This afternoon, I had the great privilege of sharing a little piece of me at the CIPD Steps Ahead Regional Summit in Birmingham where our conversation was completely focused on mentoring.

Why?

Because I recognise and appreciate the importance, and life changing impact, a mentor has had, and still has, on me. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that have greater impact. Someone spending time with you, asking about you. Not what you are but who you are. Finding out what is important to you. Helping you make sense of stuff. Encouraging you to be better, understanding what will help make you stronger, supporting you to believe in yourself.

I have seen much conversation around putting stuff in “boxes” in today’s world. Whack a label on it. Re-package it, re-brand it and Voila. New way of working. New thoughts, new conferences, new ways of learning. Your worky problems, people problems….solved.

When did that become a thing? Has it always been that way? Why do some accept that the way you work, if it does work, has to change because a new shiny thing has come along? Why do we feel the need to put a label on it?

Back to a conversation we had today. Mentoring vs Coaching: What are the differences? We can debate the differences between mentoring and coaching until we are blue in the face. As the very brilliant Jayne Harrison said, both are a learning partnership. They both start with the other person, whether that be our Mentee or Coachee.

If doing stuff works, whether it has a label or not, why do we need to make it a thing. Can it not just be part of the great work we do?

Tonight, I had the great pleasure of participating in the inaugural Twitter chat #LDNights, the mid-week evening extension, Tuesday between 8pm & 9pm, of the brilliant #LDInsight on Friday mornings between 8am and 9am.

Tonight’s question was this:

“What do you do to make learning stick”

Check out the # on Twitter #LDNights. I’m sure a brilliant Storify will follow. It was fascinating, fun, informative and the elephant in the room was mentioned.

Drum-roll……

Learning Styles.

If learning in a particular way works for you, is it such a big deal if fits, or doesn’t, to what the rest of the world are doing?

I get that people learn differently. They, me, may not completely learn as suggested by the “defined” learning styles that we know and love / loathe but we do have preferences. Respecting how we like to learn, understanding it, tailoring what we do to help that person will help both of us. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.

It’s not “a” thing but part of a whole bunch of stuff; why, what and how we learn. If it helps make it stick, who has the right to suggest that because it doesn’t fit a box, have the right label, that it shouldn’t be part of what works for you.

Enjoy experimenting. Find what works and experiment some more. Importantly, do something meaningful with what you have learned. Both for you, and others.

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Family, Cats, Food Nerd, Gin Queen, People. Not HR.

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