Do you feel recharged by the process of learning something new? Do you find yourself with the urge to change jobs or majors every 18-24 months? Have you met someone that seems to always be picking up a new skill or new hobby?
This week we are going to explore the CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) theme of Learner. Whether you’re an individual with Learner or a leader wanting to empower your people to perform better, understanding how to turn this talent into a strength will help you be more engaged, more productive and have a better quality of life.
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a natural curiosity and enjoyment of the learning process. Depending on your other themes, mastering the information may not be as important as the experience of going from ignorance to competence. They have a strong desire to learn and continuously improve through learning and are energized by the gaining and processing of something new and useful. This process of learning is thrilling because the Learners grow as they learn. The more they learn, the more confident they become.
LEARNING IS EMOTIONAL
Learning is a thinking theme, but there is a deep emotional component for learners when they are exposed to new information or introduced to a new concept - some liken that energizing effect to a kind of “rush” when experiencing something new - one learner I know calls it a “learners high”
- Achiever says the value of a task is getting it completed
- Learner says the value of a task is what you learn while doing it.
LEARNER AT ITS BEST...AND NOT SO BEST
When a Learner is at their best, they are known for being quick to grasp new ideas. In fact, Learners thrive in dynamic environments where there’s always something new and interesting. You might hear a learner say, "I don’t know yet, but I am going to figure it out”
At it’s worst - the raw and untamed Learner can have a curiosity that quickly dissolves into fickle boredom. Sometimes they have a tendency to come across as a “know-it-all," and if they aren’t careful they can have a tendency to want to continuously go through the learning process without putting the things they’ve learned into action.
WAYS TO FEED (DEVELOP) YOUR LEARNER TALENT:
- Seek out opportunities for learning experiences
- Take time to refine how you learn. If you learn best by teaching, seek out opportunities to present to others. If you learn best through quiet reflection, carve out this quiet time on a regular basis.
- Be a catalyst for change. Others might be intimidated by new rules, new skills, or new circumstances. Your willingness to soak up this “newness” can calm their fears and inspire them to engage. Take this responsibility seriously.
COACHING AND MANAGING LEARNERS
Learner is one of the most common themes in the world, so build up the Learners around you by giving them roles that allow them to stay current in a fast-changing field. Keep the environment rich with learning opportunities for the Learner. Even if there aren’t many opportunities to learn on the job, encourage Learners to take additional courses. Learning doesn’t have to be about giving them promotion, just building into the process of learning for the Learners on your team.
Don’t hand a learner a fully thought-out solution, present them with the challenge and let them go! Watch out when you hear the learners around you saying “maybe I should go back to school," that is probably a warning sign that they are ready for a new challenge at work.
ARE YOU THRIVING IN LIFE?
Have you ever had that feeling of being stuck in your personal life or at work? You find yourself working with people who don't understand you, doing a job that doesn't fit, and answering to someone who focuses on what you aren't rather than what you are? No matter how many "team building" exercises you do or "self-help" books you read, you still find yourself frustrated and stressed.
WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO SUCCEED WAS ALREADY INSIDE OF YOU?
Using a Strengths-based approach backed by Gallup, we help bring out the best in people resulting in higher productivity, lower turnover, and a better quality of life. We help people and organizations use what they do well to overcome their biggest problems.
Gallup’s research has also shown people who focus on their strengths turn their potential into action. People who know and use their CliftonStrengths are:
- 6x as likely to be engaged at work
- 7.8% more productive in their role
- 3x as likely to have an excellent quality of life
- 6x as likely to do what they do best every day