The learning trade-off

We’re in the season of end of year reflection and I was speaking to a teammate who shared a fascinating reflection. Her top objective for the year was to learn how to be better at her job. And that objective, in her word, was “knocked out of the park.” It was a year full of transformation – she’d learnt a lot.

However, she hadn’t realized the trade-off that came with this learning. She was deeply uncomfortable for a significant part of the year and had to deal with lower mental health for significant portion while she figured out how to improve her game.

She shared that she thought it might be like school – go to class and attempt to absorb content. And she walked away from the year appreciating that learning doesn’t work like that in the trenches on a job. At least not the kind of learning that changes how you operate.

It was a fascinating reflection – one that resonated deeply. It is one I’ll be sharing every time I meet folks who talk about wanting to accelerate their learning.

Are they willing to accept the discomfort that comes with it?