5 Ways to Learn New Skills Effectively

Learning a new skill can be one of the most satisfying things you can do to grow. Learning a new skill is not just a financially smart decision, but it is also good for your mental health. When you learn new skills, you feel more powerful. New neural connections are formed in your brain when you learn something new. The best way to change your life is to change your mind. And learning new skills is the best way to change your mind, literally.

When the normal routine of life makes your life dull, having entertainment alone is not enough to recharge yourself. Entertainment can be good for a weekend — but if you do not learn anything new for years, you will start hating your work.

The traditional system of education expects us to finish school and college and then work for the rest of our lives. That strategy might have worked 30 years back as the world was slowly moving towards the information age. It is not going to work anymore. To thrive in this day and age, learning has to become a habit and continuous up-gradation of skills is required to stay relevant and competitive.

One of the biggest challenges in learning after school and college is that the learning journey becomes lonely. If you are trying to learn from a book or an online course with a set of video tutorials, your learning can become quite stressful. Students learn best when they are energetic and happy. And the only way to feel energetic and happy during your learning journey is to be part of a community that has the same learning goals as yours.

1. Sign up for a cohort-based online course

Many online courses nowadays are cohort-based, and cohort-based online courses usually have a community around them. Being part of a community can impact your learning journey in very subtle ways that are not obvious. Remember, you are the average of the five people around you.

If you are part of a learning community where you see other students have similar goals such as yours and if you see that they are making progress with their professional journey, you are highly likely to grow along with them. You will have a positive pressure to achieve results.

Related: Why Remote Learning is an Avenue That is Worth Exploring

2. Sign up for a mastermind program

After the completion of the online course, you can think about becoming part of a mastermind community where the learning journey continues beyond the course duration. A mastermind community is usually led by a mentor, and you will have the best of the best students as part of the community.

Mastermind community memberships usually come at a premium, but it is worth the premium because the ideas that you get from the community for your career and business will be well worth the price.

3. Start blogging about what you’ve learned

To make sure that you do not forget what you learn, take notes and write about what you have learned in your blog. Writing organizes your thought process and it is one of the best ways to remember.

If you write in a public blog, you can also build your brand at the same time and may even start having some subscribers who want to copy your notes. A lot of digital mentors have built their following because they started taking their notes in public.

Related: 4 Tips for Finding Your Profitable Blogging Niche

4. Implement your learning

You also have to make sure that you implement what you learn. Implementation is very important because when you implement your leaningsconcepts

perspectives

onlinecourses

and get results, you are going to have validated learning. Validating what you have learned will make sure that the concepts you are trying to learn will go from information to understanding.

Once you understand something new, you will feel powerful and your perspective will expand. Once your perspective has expanded to new horizons, you will never be able to get back to your original state of thinking.

Also, implementing what you have learned gives you a project in hand. You get hired for what you can do, not what you know. Online course certificates usually prove that the student knows something, but not that they can do something. When you do a project, the project proves that you can do something. And who knows — the project can become a side hustle and may even become a business someday.

5. Become a digital mentor and teach

And finally, start teaching what you have learned to your followers. If you are already blogging and blogging about what you know, you will have an audience. Create a smaller mastermind group where you are the mentor and help your students. This will mostly happen online. You are effectively becoming a digital mentor for your students. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn, because it forces you to simplify the concepts you already have in your mind.

Related: How VR Will Accelerate Talent Learning and Development

Deepak Kanakaraju

By: Deepak Kanakaraju / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Source: 5 Ways to Learn New Skills Effectively

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9 Keys to Delegating Successfully

9 Keys to Delegating Successfully

For any entrepreneur, particularly when you are starting a new business, there is a danger of trying to do everything yourself. If you like to keep the world under control you may need to improve your delegation skills.

Delegation provides opportunities for people to feel empowered, supported and encouraged. It gives entrepreneurs a chance to reduce stress by spreading the work and sharing responsibilities amongst the team.

Here are my tips for improving delegation and gaining the benefits as your business grows:

1. Get to know your team.

If you have a new team – don’t go in like a bull in a china shop. Get to know your team, understand their ways of working, rules of engagement, foibles, and preferred styles of communication and you’ll be able to appreciate their world as it stands – before you add to it. Really get to grips with their deliverables and their concerns and challenges. These small steps can pay off over time.

2. Share the vision.

Be really clear about your vision and mission and share it with your team. If they understand the direction the team is going in, and the objectives that need to be achieved they will start to think about how they can contribute.

3. Ask for help.

A good saying is that “your success is only achieved through theirs” – and you have to mean it and let your team know this is how you operate. There’s no room for insecurity or game playing if you want to be an effective leader who delegates easily. If they can see your vulnerable side, where you are not perfect, where you make mistakes and don’t have all the answers, they will know that you value consulting with them and leveraging their knowledge and experience when solving problems. Ultimately, they will feel respected and valued.

4. Share and develop skills.

By ensuring that you have no silos (individuals with special skill sets that are potential single-point-of-failures if absent), delegating tasks across the team will upskill them and ensure that no-one, when they return from holiday or other absence, is faced with a pile of work – as it will have3 been absorbed by the team. This can create a harmonious team working environment where everyone has each other’s back. With this mindset people should be ready to take on other initiatives to help.

5. Give useful feedback.

If you can’t give great feedback that is useful and useable then it will become very challenging for you to delegate a second time. You need to give them specific examples of where things went well and why that was great.

If things didn’t go so well, help them articulate how they might mitigate that in the future so that the issues melt away. Reward them, in a meaningful way, for their efforts.

6. Encourage ideas.

You can build a culture of problem solving by being genuinely approachable and easy to work with. If you don’t want people to bring you problems to solve – ask your team to bring you solutions and ideas instead. They will likely feel empowered to try to figure out how to fix things before approaching you for approval to go ahead; thereby discouraging whinging and moaning about problems which they then expect you to solve.

If a team member comes up with a good idea ask them to lead on it, with you as a consultant (so they don’t feel vulnerable). This raises their profile, makes them feel respected and gives them a specific deliverable.

7. Be specific and say ‘why’ before ‘how.’

Humans are not robots – they need to understand why a task has to be done to understand the value they are delivering. Only then will they be able to absorb the policy, process and procedures.

When delivering instructions for a task – start with the end in mind and be specific about the desired end result. Clearly outline the lines of accountability, responsibility and authority. Be extra clear on touch points/milestones and deadlines – get them diarised. Organise a review once the work has ended so you can give feedback. Don’t be tempted to focus on how they got there – focus on the results achieved.

8. Play to their strengths.

Getting to know your team will help you to build mutual rapport, trust and respect. Its these things that help you decide whom to delegate to as you’ll know if they are able to cope with the work, or if it’s too much of a stretch. Take time to get to know how they like to be rewarded and why they come to work every day – then you will understand what words to choose when you are being persuasive and encouraging to them. It’s important to get to know your employees’ limitations so that you can push them a little but not drown them.

9. Improve self-awareness.

As an entrepreneur, its important to understand your impact on others. It will improve your ability to delegate effectively and your listening skills. Listening is the most useful skill you can cultivate. It validates the person speaking and makes them feel heard. It allows you to be a safe sounding board for the team. Ask for feedback from your team (it’s not a one-way street) and respond to that feedback if you can so they know you are paying attention and adapting.

As an entrepreneur your role is to lead the team as you build the business. You can’t do everything so learning about your team and delegating can help you avoid burn-out and become successful more quickly.

By Sam Warner

Source: 9 Keys to Delegating Successfully

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How People Analytics Can Help You Change Process, Culture, and Strategy

It seems like every business is struggling with the concept of transformation. Large incumbents are trying to keep pace with digital upstarts., and even digital native companies born as disruptors know that they need to transform. Take Uber: at only eight years old, it’s already upended the business model of taxis. Now it’s trying to move from a software platform to a robotics lab to build self-driving cars.

And while the number of initiatives that fall under the umbrella of “transformation” is so broad that it can seem meaningless, this breadth is actually one of the defining characteristic that differentiates transformation from ordinary change. A transformation is a whole portfolio of change initiatives that together form an integrated program.

And so a transformation is a system of systems, all made up of the most complex system of all — people. For this reason, organizational transformation is uniquely suited to the analysis, prediction, and experimental research approach of the people analytics field.

People analytics — defined as the use of data about human behavior, relationships and traits to make business decisions — helps to replace decision making based on anecdotal experience, hierarchy and risk avoidance with higher-quality decisions based on data analysis, prediction, and experimental research. In working with several dozen Fortune 500 companies with Microsoft’s Workplace Analytics division, we’ve observed companies using people analytics in three main ways to help understand and drive their transformation efforts.

In core functional or process transformation initiatives — which are often driven by digitization — we’ve seen examples of people analytics being used to measure activities and find embedded expertise. In one example, a people analytics team at a global CPG company was enlisted to help optimize a financial process that took place monthly in every country subsidiary around the world. The diversity of local accounting rules precluded perfect standardization, and the geographic dispersion of the teams made it hard for the transformation group to gather information the way they normally would — in conversation.

In core functional or process transformation initiatives — which are often driven by digitization — we’ve seen examples of people analytics being used to measure activities and find embedded expertise. In one example, a people analytics team at a global CPG company was enlisted to help optimize a financial process that took place monthly in every country subsidiary around the world. The diversity of local accounting rules precluded perfect standardization, and the geographic dispersion of the teams made it hard for the transformation group to gather information the way they normally would — in conversation.

So instead of starting with discovery conversations, people analytics data was used to baseline the time spent on the process in every country, and to map the networks of the people involved. They discovered that one country was 16% percent more efficient than the average of the rest of the countries: they got the same results in 71 fewer person-hours per month and with 40 fewer people involved each month.

The people analytics team was surprised — as was finance team in that country, which had no reason to benchmark themselves against other countries and had no idea that they were such a bright spot. The transformation office approached the country finance leaders with their findings and made them partners in process improvement for the rest of the subsidiaries.

It’s unlikely the CPG company would have been able to recognize and replicate these bright spots if they had undertaken transformation with a top-down approach. And, perhaps more importantly, it involved and engaged the people on the ground who had unwittingly discovered a better way of doing things.

In bottoms-up cultural transformation initiatives, the how things are done is equally or more important than what is done. Feedback loops and other methods of data-driven storytelling are our favorite way that people analytics makes culture transformation happen. Often times, facts can change the conversation from tired head-nodding to curiosity. One people analytics team in an engineering company was struggling to help develop the company’s managers, for example. Managers often perpetuated a “sink or swim” culture that didn’t fit the company’s aspirations to be an inclusive, humane workplace.

The data analysis found that teams whose managers spent at least 16 minutes of one-on-one time with each direct per week had 30% percent more engaged direct reports than the average manager, who spent just 9 minutes per week with directs. When they brought that data-driven story to the front lines, suddenly a platitude was transformed into a useful benchmark that got the attention of managers. In this way, data storytelling is a lightweight way to build trust among stakeholders and bring behavioral science to culture transformation.

Top-down strategic transformation is often made necessary by market and technology factors outside the company, but here people analytics is a critical factor for execution. A people analytics team can serve as an instrument panel of sorts to track resources, boundaries, capacity, time use, networks, skill sets, performance, and mindsets that can help pinpoint where change is possible and can measure what happens when you try it.

One people analytics team at a financial services company was trying to help the CEO manage growth while he worked to instill a new culture in which departments would be asked to run leaner and more competitive in the market – “scrappy” and “hungry” were terms that often came up. As the transformation accelerated, teams were asked to do more with less, generate more data, and make decisions faster. Amid this, department leaders began to hear anecdotes about burnout and change fatigue and questioned whether the pace was sustainable.

To address this, the people analytics team provided their CEO with a dashboard showing the number of hours that knowledge workers were active for in different teams. When an entire team is over-utilized, he knows they can’t handle more change, while under- or unevenly utilized teams might be more receptive. He can also slice the dashboard by tenure, to learn whether recent hires have been effectively onboarded before approving new hire requests to absorb extra work.

As organizations increasingly look to data to help them in their transformation efforts, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t just mean having more data or better charts. It’s about mastering the organizational muscle of using data to make better decisions; to hypothesize, experiment, measure and adapt. It’s not easy. But through careful collection and analysis of the right data, a major transformation can be a little less daunting – and hopefully a little more successful.

By: Chantrelle Nielsen & Natalie McCullough

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AIHR – Academy to Innovate HR

What is People Analytics and how is it different from HR Analytics, Workforce Analytics, or Talent Analytics? What has made it so popular all of a sudden and why should you be excited about it? What is the ROI of People Analytics? These are the questions that will be answered in this video!

For more, related information, check out our HR analytics + digital human resources management courses and certification programs: 🎓 Learn everything you need to drive data-driven decision-making in HR (certificate program) 💥 https://bit.ly/3c6UQN8 🎓 Get the skills you need to use technology to make HR more effective (certificate program) 💻 https://bit.ly/2VjsdGm Have a greater strategic impact with data as an HR Business Partner 🎯 https://bit.ly/2vZou6a

Can’t decide? You can access all our courses and certificate programs with our full academy license 👩‍🎓 https://bit.ly/2w4k9P1 👋👋 P.S. Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest HR Analytics developments! https://www.linkedin.com/school/aihr/

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Effective Listening & Conversation: Developing Your Skills

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To make progress on the pressing issues we face today, organizers and advocates need the skills and training to turn a desire to change the status quo into meaningful and impactful civic action. But finding the time to attend a training in person can often mean time away from other everyday priorities.

That’s why OFA offers online trainings—where you can develop your skills without leaving your home. And if you miss a live online training, you can always check out the recording and watch it at a time that’s convenient for you. Whether you’re looking for introductory-level skill building or something more advanced, we have a training series for you.

OFA has designed a five part series aimed at developing skills in persuasion and communication. In this series, we cover effective listening, communicating your values, knowing your ‘why’, developing your theory of change, motivational interviewing and key skills for talking to voters — ultimately developing a suite of skills that you can use to have more effective conversations. This series combines social science, psychology, and best practices for political organizers, and gives participants room for practice, feedback, and application of the craft — right in time for 2018.

Part 1: Effective listening:

Part 2: Know your why:

Part 3: Why, how, what:

Part 4: Motivational interviewing:

Using a technique borrowed from clinical psychology, motivational interviewing helps practitioners to identify contradictions in what people are saying—highlighting assumptions that are being made, and stating them in a non-judgemental way. Research shows that when people are able to state their own contradictions, they are more likely to change their behavior. Though challenging, this training provides useful techniques that you will come back to again and again, not just in your organizing work, but in your personal and professional conversations as well.

Part 5: Voter contact best practices:

Talking to voters presents a challenge, we have thousands and thousands to talk to, but they must also be quality conversations. These two factors often create a push-pull effect; if we increase the quantity of conversations they often have lower quality but if we increase the quality we often get lower quantity. In this training we will cover three types of voter contact and how to incorporate relational organizing powerfully into voter conversations.

If everyone who reads our articles and like it , help to fund it. Our future would be much more secure if you send us your donations…THANK YOU

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