The premise of Tony Schwartz’s article is that any talent, skill or ability can be developed like a muscle, that is by working it out, by pushing past the comfort zone, breaking it and then resting. It reminds me very much like Steven Covey’s 7th habit, Sharpen the Saw.
Schwartz refers to Aristotle’s “We are what we repeatedly do” explaining that repetition and practice is the key to real performance improvement as well as overall benefits for focussing, being creative, empathic and less stressed.
If you want to be really good at something, it’s going to involve relentlessly pushing past your comfort zone, along with frustration, struggle, setbacks and failures. That’s true as long as you want to continue to improve, or even maintain a high level of excellence. The reward is that being really good at something you’ve earned through your own hard work can be immensely satisfying.
Here, then, are the six keys to achieving excellence we’ve found are most effective for our clients:
Pursue what you love.
Do the hardest work first.
Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses.
Take regular renewal breaks.
He details these keys in his post, giving tips on how one might start on this path of self-improvement.
I’m convinced that both the intrinsic (critical practice) and extrinsic (confessional practice) influences are necessary for properly forming identity. I’m still wondering what the particular influences are in the digital realm. I might have to dig out Sherry Turkle’s Life on the Screen
In researching approaches to digital identity, I recently came across a model which i found particularly interesting. In their schema of experiential learning, Usher, Bryant et al. (1996) describe how lifelong learning can be understood in relation to two continua (autonomy to adaptation, and application to expression) which create four specific contemporary social practices: lifestyle, confessional, vocational, and critical.
The idea of identity formation is particularly evident in the two opposing practices of the confessional and the critical
So how does identity formation within these two practices translate to the formation of digital identities and reputations, and to the representation of self on the social web?
This issue of Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts focuses on the use of digital portfolios, or e-Portfolios to support learning. The series of seven articles evolved from presentations given at the second Australian e-Portfolio Symposium, held in Brisbane in early February 2009. Queensland University of Technology.
I’m glad that the always thought-provoking Janet brought this up. There comes a time when we need to really look at what the activity of learning really is. It is nice to find a new model every day that explains what X might be but unless we are truly analysing these models, implementing them, testing them, juxtaposing them, really, all we are doing is surfing the Web.
And as a side note, very few people I know have the chutzpah to title their blogpost “The clusterfuck known as social learning”. 😉
Janet quotes Gary Woodill:
Learning through the use of social media is a set of implicit assumptions that if people are using something called “social media”, then “social learning” must be taking place. This is a confusion of the means with the ends.
I think, when it comes to the new social learning crowd, we’ve got us a case of groupthink. I’ll be the first to say I’ve been part of the problem. However, I think we’ve got to slow down before we flood search engines with models that are not models and definitions grounded in little more than what someone else said.
Cornerstone OnDemand has published a new white paper titled “Failing to Learn: Why Learning is Critical to Strategic Talent Management.”
Focussed on best practices, the paper addresses how learning is essential for:
Onboarding: Avoid making new hires sink or swim in your organization.
Performance: Develop employees in the middle, not just high and low performers.
Succession: Do more than just identify skill gaps, actually address them.
Compensation: It’s not just about the money.
Social networking: Don’t hide the knowledge and expertise in your organization.
Talent management can empower your employees to thrive and help your organization retain them. But the irony is that most talent management solutions are missing the one critical component that will make that business impact a reality – learning.
In this article, I’m going to share the lessons I learned that doubled my reading rate, allowed me to consume over 70 books in a year and made me a smarter reader. I’m also going to destroy some speed-reading myths, to show you it isn’t magic but a skill anyone can learn.