I’ll admit it. I’m a training junkie. I love going to classes, seminars, and workshops. I like teleclasses. I download recordings of classes and listen to them as I drive. I love gathering information. In the old movie Short Circuit, I totally related to Number 5’s need for input.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t like to waste time. And, no matter how much great information I get through all those training avenues, if I don’t put at least a portion of it into practice I’ve wasted that time.
This coming Tuesday I’ll be at a training event. As I get ready to go I’m gathering the tools I need to help me make use of what I learn. I’ll be taking note cards so I can jot down things that I can do immediately or with very little prep. I’ll have a notebook for things that will take a little more work. This way I’ll be able to start making any changes right away.
Once I’m home I’ll type up my notes. This is a way for me to review the notes in a way that helps me to sort and file them. It also gives me a chance to share the information with people who can’t attend the event. I’ll copy some of those notes to documents that I’ll keep for future reference. That way when I’m struggling in a particular area or even just feeling a little stale, I’ll have them for inspiration.
I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll speak with at least one person who will decide that they didn’t hear anything new. They didn’t learn anything that will help them. Well, the first part may be true, but I guarantee that the second isn’t. The fundamentals never change, so that information is going to remain the same. Still, if their business isn’t where they want it to be, then there’s something in those fundamentals that can help them. An open mind is one of the most important tools I’ll be taking with me.
Not every great idea I hear will work for me. For instance, I’ve gotten some great advice through other sources about marketing myself online. Since the company I’m with has rules against identifying myself with the company in any specific way online, I can’t always follow that advice. That doesn’t mean I can’t take something away from it, though. At the very least it’s advice I can pass along to someone else.
I encourage people to take advantage of training as it’s made available. There are lots of resources out there. But, if you’re not going to go with an open mind and a plan for making use of what you learn, why go?