Why Intentional Learning Is The Number One Leadership Skill You Need, Right Now – Forbes

Posted: October 8, 2020 at 2:56 am


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Intentional learning is the way to create your future.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), more than a billion jobs will be transformed by technology in the next 10 years. The World Economic Forum reports that 42% of core skills required for most jobs are going to change by 2022. These future predictions sit against a backdrop of global layoffs for airlines, technology companies, energy and other sectors. If youre fortunate enough to be gainfully employed right now, theres one key leadership skill youve got to cultivate. In fact, according to data from McKinsey, your future depends on it.

What Is Intentional Learning?

Being an intentional learner means investing in the skills and leadership training that will create your future. Called reskilling or upskilling, the expertise needed for the future is a major challenge for companies today.

Technological advances brought on by COVID-19 have accelerated massive shifts in workforce behavior. Digital disruption is here to stay, but the World Economic Forum says that tech training isnt the only game in town: Theres a common misconception that well all need to develop highly technological or scientific skills to succeed. Were seeing a growing need for people to develop specialized skills for how they interact with each other. These include creativity, collaboration and interpersonal dynamics, as well as skills related to specialized sales, human resources, care and education roles.

Its counter-intuitive, but intentional learning focuses not just on technology but on the human beings who use it. Accessing a deeper understanding of connection (even during times of social isolation) begins with a shift in perspective. As a result, intentional learners are deliberate and focused on developing these two areas:

Developing a growth mindset and embracing curiosity requires one thing: head space. In other words, you have to have room to think. At least, thats the premise behind Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind. Author Nancy Kline shares that the human mind was designed to get intelligence back when it slips away. Turns out, innovation is built into the system. We just need some space in order to access it - the kind of mental clarity that comes from stepping back from todays to-dos so you can consider creating your tomorrow. Smart companies are building time into the workday, breaking up nonstop meetings to give employees a vital (but often overlooked) asset: time to think.

If you feel like youre unsure as to what kind of learning would help you to develop your future, theres more good news ahead. Discovering whats next doesnt involve a six-step process or detailed resilience training. Because new ideas are never more than one thought away, for intentional learners. Its counter-intuitive, but sometimes less effort can actually yield more results - especially when it comes to innovation and inspiration. The trick is: not getting buried by day-to-day obligations, so that you can see new possibilities. My coaching work helps clients to access that space, so that new ideas show up as easily as the next thought.

If youre like most people, the ability to find some head space (especially when working from home) is tricky. How do you find some clarity, when youre on zoom meetings all day, living in a small apartment, and trying to juggle family, relationships and a boss who doesnt really understand who you are? There is a maxim that we need to remember: it doesnt have to be like this. Options always exist - especially the option to respond to your circumstances.

Intentional learning means considering new skills and ideas that ignite your curiosity. What would you like to learn, discover or explore on the journey to who you are meant to be? What new skills would make a change in your relationships, your lifestyle, your future? Take a walk, get on your bike, or rock out on your roller skates: motion and movement can make room for new ideas.

Being an intentional learner means taking time to consider the kind of future youd like to create. In this strange and unprecedented world of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still opportunities for reinvention. Remember, theres no statute of limitations on innovation. You can recreate yourself and your future anytime you choose.

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Why Intentional Learning Is The Number One Leadership Skill You Need, Right Now - Forbes

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October 8th, 2020 at 2:56 am