We all know a few folks that believe they know everything already but learning is truly a lifelong activity. From the moment of birth until the day you die there is always something that can be learned. Depending on where you are along the curve of life drives the type and degree of learning but there is always opportunity for learning none the less. And the older you get the more responsibility you have for your own learning.
If you are a parent, teacher, coach, manager or business owner, you not only need to advance your own learning, you are responsible for supporting the learning of others.
Parents have the most important role in a child’s early learning. The way the parents live has a large impact on the kind person the child will grow up to be, the life he or she will live, and the relationships they will have with others. Parents behavior is one of the strongest influences on a child as they figure out what it means to be a member of our society. The expression “do as I say, not as I do” very often falls on deaf ears.
Teachers and coaches are indispensable resources in our learning continuum. I know I learned a great deal from my coaches and those lessons often come to the forefront of my memory as needed to solve problems. There are volumes written about the critical role teachers play in our life long learning. It takes a special person to do what teachers do day in and day out without due respect and recognition earned. If given the chance, be sure you thank teachers and coaches for their service to our society.
If you are a business owner or manager insuring your staff continues to learn is key to your own success. It has been proven in many studies that companies with well executed investments in the education of employees are more profitable. We know learning opportunities, be it formal classroom or on the job, can improve employee satisfaction, productivity, customer satisfaction, and sales. Your role, as a leader, is to work with your staff to determine the learning model that is going work best for the employees and the company. A well-executed training program is worth more than it will ever cost you.
There are many options out there for continuing education and many do not cost as much as you might think. The Chamber often offers free training courses on topics that are desired by our members, so be sure you are subscribed to our email distribution to receive notifications. The Chamber Foundation offers scholarships for any form of certified continuing education to anyone 21 or under and who works for or is the child of a Chamber member. Chesapeake College also has a great set of offerings to meet the needs of adult learners no matter where they are on the curve of life.
You can also read a book, talk to a mentor, or watch an educational show TV – just be sure to learn something every day.
Editor’s note: Mr. Christopher is the executive director for the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce. His column appears the first Wednesday of each month in this publication.