Get better

In his groundbreaking book The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey builds a compelling case that we can all become skilled at building trust by cultivating 13 behaviors that focus on character and competence. Covey coins one of the 13 behaviors as “Get Better.” What he means is that we can and should continually improve at what we do to build on our competence and increase others’ confidence in our abilities.

This week I am doing just that. I’m spending a few days at ASTD’s International Conference and Exposition in Dallas, Texas with about 8,000 learning and development professionals from 72 different countries around the world. So far, I’ve been thrilled to hear from thought leaders that I’ve only seen on TED talks or YouTube videos like Sir Ken Robinson, who spoke about leading a culture of innovation and David Rock, who has pioneered the field of neuroleadership. I’ve also learned more about improving our training by using whole-brained strategies to meet all learner needs, especially in this evolving digital age where attention spans are reduced to eight minutes (the average time between television commercials). I’ve learned how leaders can influence others effectively and how to build engagement strategies into e-learning. (No more boring e-learning!) I’ve collected scores of new ideas, methods, and strategies that will take me weeks to process, incorporate into my work, and share with others.

It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. I am impressed by the deep knowledge and competence of my ASTD colleagues. And even though I know I’m at the point of information overload, I realize I haven’t learned much about building mobile learning from the ground up. Yikes!

Today the conference wraps up. I’ll return home to apply what I’ve learned and “get better” at what I do. Part of my plan is to expand my reading list, share my learnings with my team, and start a Talent Management version of Facebook’s monthly hackathons*, where we focus on greater collaboration and team learning to better serve the MnSCU community.

What can you do to build on your competence and “get better?”

Anita Rios

*Hackathon is a hack day where computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate intensively on software projects.

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