Adopting a Learning Mindset

One of my favorite tag lines at the end of my 60 second elevator pitch is “If you want to Earn more, you need to Learn more”.  I learned many years ago was that I am the only limit on my business – the more I learn, the more I personally grow, the better my team, my clients, my business, and my life get.  Acquiring and maintaining a Learning Mindset keeps me sharp and focused.

So what is a “Learning Mindset” and how do you create one for yourself?  Well, my definition is simple – a Learning Mindset is the belief that the key to success is continuous personal improvement, coupled with the commitment to be an active learner.  The key is the second half of that definition, as I find very few people who disagree with the first part of my definition and very few who choose to fully commit to the second half and actually do something.

At our recent Annual Coaches Conference, a wise coach addressed (challenged) us from the stage and asked a simple question of the top coaches present: “Do you have the right mindset, or is your mind set?”  Are you a mindset person, or a mind=set (or setmind) person?  What does it really mean to embrace and truly live a Learning Mindset? 

Here are my top 3 keys to developing and maintaining yours.

1. Make the commitment

The first key is simply making a decision, a decision that learning is the key to your future success.  I have met so many people in my 19 years of coaching that have agreed with the premise of being a constant learner, yet maybe 20% of them actually fully commit and decide to be one. So, to get started, simply make a decision, be all in on learning as the key to your future.

2. Create the right environment

The next key is where most people who make the commitment fail.  Now that you have made the commitment, you need to create a learning environment for yourself.  This includes scheduling learning time on your weekly calendar and prioritizing that time so that it isn’t the first task bumped on your schedule every day.  This time can be daily or weekly, but it must be a priority. The next part of creating a learning environment is deciding where you will be when you learn – sitting at your desk, in your car, at an event, on the treadmill, or in your favorite chair in the family room?  The more you can a develop a ritual for your learning – a regular time and place – the easier it will be to follow through and keep your commitment.  Make learning a habit.

3. Implement

The third and final key is to do something with what you learn.  Too many people I meet have read hundreds of books, yet they haven’t implemented anything they read.  I often get asked what my favorite book on leadership or sales is, and could I recommend one.  When I ask them how many they have read, it is usually dozens of them, and then when I ask what their favorite is and what they have implemented from it, I usually get a blank stare.  My favorite technique for capturing my learning is at the end of every book, I write down my Top 3 learnings from the book, and decide which of the learnings I am going to apply first, then put a plan in place to implement it. 

If you would like to brainstorm on how to apply what you have already learned, let’s schedule a 60-minute Strategy Session to pick the top 2-3 things you’ve heard or read about and figure out how to implement them in your business.

Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY

Adopting a Learning Mindset