We’ve made some New Year’s resolutions here at Three Mountains. This year, we’ve all decided that we want to focus on our professional development.
There’s no age limit to learning. Sometimes we learn the easy way, sometimes we learn the hard way, but either way we learn. The question is what to learn?
We decided to start Friday learning sessions. Every fortnight, one of our team prepares a training session on a Friday afternoon. They can choose what they want to deliver the training on, be it a new skill, a program, or just something they are generally interested in. For example, Jan Willem showed us some hidden features on the camera we use to do video interviews. It was nice to practise and get some tips on how to make our videos even better.
Flora, who just joined the team, took us through project management and gave us a ‘pre-mortem’ exercise. This is a managerial strategy where a team imagines that a project or organisation has failed. They work backwards along the timeline to determine what could have been done differently to avoid that failure. It is a good exercise to do when you are starting a new project.
And let’s not forget Nehemie’s introduction to Kahoot! A game-based learning platform. This one was fun.
The best way to learn is having to teach. Delivering training to your team – and your bosses – is really scary! The good thing is, you develop training skills and you get to practise public speaking. To keep track of whose turn it is, we have a calendar in our office. This makes sure that everybody knows to prepare well in advance.
We’ve also started creative English lessons. The lessons are taught by our English editor, Marion. It’s really interesting to discuss all kinds of English dilemmas you face when building a course. Ever heard about ze and zir? This is increasingly used as a gender-neutral replacement for he/she and his/hers. I didn’t know it existed. And do you understand why you should write, ‘working in Karongi District’ and ‘working in a district called Karongi’ differently? It’s because we use capitals when something is part of a place name: Karongi District, but not when talking about a district in general. Also, ever thought of the difference between assure, ensure and insure? Ah, these English lessons are a real journey of discovery and very useful too!
For the moment, we are organised to ensure permanent learning. What about your organisation? Maybe it’s something to suggest at your next team meeting? Anyway, whatever your organisation is doing, never give up learning.