Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Learning from Others

April's edition of The Harvard Business Review has a great article about how best to learn from others. The title of the article is "Make Yourself an Expert: How to pull knowledge from the smartest people around you." In it, the authors, Dorothy Leonard, Gavin Barton, and Michelle Barton, describe the process which you can learn from others.  Roughly, it goes something like this:

1. Observation
2. Practice
3. Partners and Problem Solve

4. Take Responsibility

And during the entire process "codify the new knowledge in notes." 

Every organization has at least a few people which are the "go to" people, the best at what they do.  The authors stress it is these people that are the best mentors and teachers, and we have to help ourselves if we want to become better.  And they go on to say, "You can't count on companies or mentors to equip you with the skills and experience you need. You must learn how to "pull" deep smarts from others."

Finally, these questions will probably start you off in the right direction:

"After observing your expert, ask, what did he do and why?  What did I do?  What worked?  What didn't?"

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