A team member shared with me that they watched the training videos that were provided teaching him how to use a new data analytics platform that our company just subscribed to. I would consider this person very smart as well as a deep thinker.
The project he is working on requires him to use the online data analytics platform to learn how our brand is selling in the marketplace. Then taking these insights and turning them into marketing proof points as to why someone should be selling our brand of products. He was familiar with how to work with the data that the platform provides while never really using this type of platform personally.
Being curious, I decided to login to the platform without watching any videos because I did not have the time. Interested in what the data would say about our brand, I spent a couple of hours clicking this link, sorting data another way, and stumbling through the creation of a couple of reports that appeared meaningful.
When talking to my team member about my exploration and discovery, what occurred to me is that – even if I had the time – I would not have chosen to watch any videos before trying to use the platform. I realized that I learn better by doing. By searching, trying, or hacking my way around an obstacle as I search to learn something new.
Now did I get everything I could out of what I tried? Most likely not. What it did do was allow me the opportunity to gain some breadth of knowledge about the platform while admittedly sacrificing depth. My team member will use it more deeply in finishing his work, but I now know just enough to be able to understand what he will share with me in the next few weeks.
This was a good example that even the simple things, like how we learn, can be different for each of us. Highlighting the need for patience when we train others. Making us stop to find a new way to learn, when we get frustrated by “not being able to get it”. Asking someone to explain something again in a different way rather than in the same way.
Especially now that we are reminded, once again, just how different we really are.