It’s the last day of your training course, now what?
You and I have been there before. The executive development course you have attended was really insightful and you are ready to go back to your work and change everything. You’ve made lots of new connections and maybe reinvigorated some existing ones with your colleagues who were there with you. Ideas and tools are swimming in your head and the world is full of possibilities.
And then the real world hits you. Your kids, your spouse, your boss have not been in the same journey and they have a “honey do list” longer than your life expectancy. It is easy to get sucked into old patterns of behavior and keep doing what you do.
So, here’s some suggestions that should help you stay focused and turn your commitments into actions. These suggestions are tips from previous course participants, neuroscience insights and in most cases simple to execute. Use them as a menu list and implement as many as you feel like.
- Fifteen minutes a day – The first or last 15 minutes of your working day should be a sacred space for you to slow down, focus your mind and reflect on what’s ahead of you. Schedule them in your calendar if needed and work with your circadian rhythm. This article can help you figure out if you are a morning or evening person.
- Plan on sharing – When you attend a course make sure that you share what you learned with your colleagues. Your brain will thank you for reinforcing the learning, your leadership capital will increase among your colleagues and you will have a better chance to drive change by influencing others.
- Build a circle of accountability – You are in the same boat as all the other participants in the course, so why not commit to peer reinforcement and keep checking in with one another to see how your commitments are coming along?
- Look for signs – Over the course of the coming months you will encounter situations in which you will recognize some of what was discussed in the training course. Take that as a sign that you should go back to what you learned and refresh your knowledge.
- Every volunteering moment is a good learning moment – If you, like me, enjoy donating your time to others, think about how your volunteer time can be used to test some of what you learned. Plus, the feeling of helping others will make the experience twice as rewarding.
- It is time to unlearn – Now that you have learned so much, it is also worth thinking what is that you will consciously unlearn. When we transition to new jobs/roles, it is incredibly useful to reflect not just on the skills that you will carry over, but also on the skills/knowledge you will not need. This is especially true when you are going from a technical to a general management role.
- Build a story – Your training course will have surely made you laugh, made you think and experienced life through the stories of others. Use these events and situations to create a story that you can keep telling. It will be much easier to remember new concepts and ideas if they are embedded in a story.
Ultimately remember that discomfort leads to comfort. Learning can challenge us and take us to uncomfortable places. Through learning we realize that there is much that we don’t know. Yet, if we practice our learning we become a better version of ourself and we can have a greater impact on our communities and the people we care about. That in itself is the ultimate reason why we must make sure we don’t lock our new knowledge in a corner of our mind. If this topic fascinates you then I recommend you read a book that has inspired me – you can find it here.