In case you’ve been busy with your nose against the grindstone this week, don’t worry! We’ve been trolling the internet looking for the top articles on leadership development, learning and workplace culture. In case you missed it, here are the top articles that sparked our interest this week.
4 Ways to Become a Better Learner
In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, a CEO from a telecommunications firm admits that after he was blindsided by a new technology that interrupted his company’s business. He quickly realized that the future success of his career heavily relies on shifting his approach from traditional learning to agile learning.
Agile Learning, as defined by HBR is “the capacity for rapid, continuous learning from experience.”
Agile learners are constantly considering new information, seeking new experiences, and are not afraid to take risks to challenge old ideas or routines. One way develop learning agility is to work with a team in order to identify routines and practices that may be outdated and create solutions to make them work better. HBR suggests your team consider implementing these four practices to become better learners.
- Ask for feedback
- Experiment with new approaches or behaviors
- Look for connections across seemingly unrelated areas
- Make time for reflection
Worried about a fading reputation and falling into the same career trap as the CEO? Read the full article, “4 Ways to Become a Better Learner” here for more in depth analysis of these four steps to becoming an agile learner.
How to Give Honest, Constructive Feedback
Giving and receiving feedback can be a pretty uncomfortable experience. It’s not always easy conversation, but as a manger, it’s your responsibility to provide feedback your employees. People need to hear honest feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly – to help them advance their careers.
To help you navigate through these difficult conversations, The Muse put together a list of tips to help guide your conversation into one that is meaningful and promotes a positive learning environment for your team.
- Get clear on the purpose for the feedback. Be clear on why you are taking the time to provide feedback. Your objective behind the feedback should shape the entire conversation so make sure that it is understood from the get go.
- Ask how the person would like to receive feedback. People react to certain situations very differently. Some members of your team may prefer a face to face conversation while others may like to see feedback in writing so they can have time to digest and think before they respond.
- Identify the specific action you’re recognizing. Make sure that your feedback can be linked to a specific incident or action. Saying something such as “this presentation isn’t very good” is not constructive. Instead, identify the weaknesses you see and where you need to see improvement.
- Clarify the impact of the specific action. Not only does feedback need to be connected to a specific action, but it also needs to connect to a bigger picture in order to help the receiver better understand why you are giving it in the first place.
- Provide an action plan. In order to follow up, provide some suggestions for improvement. Allow the receiver to give input on what is necessary to make the situation better.
For more details, check out the full article, “This is How You Give Honest Feedback to Anyone, Anytime Without Hurting Feelings.”
3 Realistic Ways to Make Your Work Less Stressful
The truth is, we will never be able to completely eliminate stress in the workplace. Luckily as it turns out, the American Psychological Association says, you don’t have to make huge life changes to alleviate stress. An article published by Inc. this week, highlights three tips to incorporate into your routine that will help ease your mind and reduce the effects of your daily stressors.
- Identify ‘stress signals.’ The key here is to be proactive rather than reactive. When a stressful situation arises, take note of how your body reacts to stress. The better you are at noticing your body’s signals, the better you will become at identifying the cause and quicker at alleviating the effects before it disrupts your entire day.
- Get rid of unrealistic goals. Instead, focus your attention on one reasonable goal that you are most motivated to achieve. Rather than chipping at one lofty goal, break it into smaller stepping stones to keep you on track. This way you are able to more closely track your progress rather than feeling like you are getting nowhere.
- Work ‘relaxation breaks’ into your daily routine. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or unfocused at work, set aside time for a relaxation break to clear your mind. This short break can help you recharge and increase your productivity rather than letting yourself become inundated with a never ending to do list.
Check out the full article from Inc.com for some more great advice!