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When Was the Last Time you Learned Something?

Maybe you learned about a colleague’s experiences living in Ukraine a few years back. Or perhaps you found out that there’s a university nearby with tons of students looking for internship opportunities.

If you can consistently answer “today” or “yesterday,” then I have good news for you: you’re an intentional learner.

As entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers know, professional development is essential. We learn new skills through courses, a shadow job, a college or university degree program. These activities help us broaden our perspectives and improve our performance.

But intentional learning isn’t just about taking courses and scheduling time for school.

What is Intentional Learning?

Intentional learning is an overall attitude in which you look at every experience, even everyday ones, as opportunities to learn something new. Your desire to learn is an instinct, applied automatically.

Learning out in the real world is the ultimate education. An intentional learner could be someone without professional schooling and still be an intentional learner. It’s a mindset, not a certification.

You can adopt intentional learning with two related mindsets: growth and curiosity.

Examples of Intentional Learning

Here are some everyday tasks and experiences that an intentional learner could learn from:

Interactions: You might learn about a client’s or colleague’s attitude or values just from everyday conversation, which could help you better collaborate and deliver projects.

Lunch break: You might know that the cashier ringing you out for lunch is a student at a nearby university. You’re curious about whether they know your company is looking for interns. Hence, you attempt to talk to them about their education and internship opportunities.

Hobbies: Your one-hour-per-day hobby could help you embrace your curiosity, which will help you adopt the intentional learning mindset.

Why Is Intentional Learning Important for Our Growth and Performance?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on labor shortages through the Great Resignation and other factors; mass job openings make reskilling more critical now than ever for employers.

As us managers, employers, and entrepreneurs struggle to meet our talent needs, certifications and schooling history won’t set talent apart from the others.

Intentional learners will shine, and they’re the ones you need to propel your business forward.

The bottom line is that intentional learning will be essential for every professional amidst the fast-coming Fourth Industrial Revolution. Start embracing new opportunities to learn and look for talent that does the same!

Are you an intentional learner? Tell me something you learned recently and where you learned it!

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