“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma
It’s been a long time since I’ve meandered through the halls of an educational institution where the ultimate goal was investing in yourself through learning, growth and experience.
For many, one of the pitfalls of inhabiting the working world with some longevity is a sense of superiority. This often supports an all-knowing attitude which renders us believing that personal and professional development is only for those with limited career success.
I myself have easily fallen into that rhythm. It wasn’t until a communications issue with a co-worker arose that I realized I might have something more to learn about how I am communicating with others.
I turned to the course offerings found on LinkedIn Learning – a wonderful example of investing in yourself.
Taught by industry experts on a variety of business disciplines, I viewed this cost-effective experience as a tool to help me change the narrative of my communications for future circumstances.
Thus far, I’ve completed courses on Communicating Through Disagreement, The Importance of Empathy in the Workplace, Project Management Foundations Through Communication and a host of other courses all designed to improve my communication abilities overall.
While we’re taught reading, writing and arithmetic during our undergraduate education, we’re rarely taught the skills to be an effective communicator.
Where then do we learn how to communicate?
Oftentimes by witnessing an exchange of dialogue between those around us – in our homes, our schools, our communities, on television and in the movies and yes, at our places of employment.
Sadly, what we often “pick up” about the art of communicating lacks the empathy and listening abilities necessary for successful communication, and instead is littered with a self-serving bias, and sometimes, bullying tendencies.
We need to become more self-aware and reflective in order to see that none of us should be immune to personal and professional development – especially when it comes to communication.
While some believe knowledge is powerful, others know that knowledge can reveal deficits within ourselves, and many of us are far too proud to put in the effort for the required changes. Be leery of anyone who tells you, “I already know all that so it’s not worth my time.”
Our businesses should demand an investing in yourself at every level with consistency and reporting to make sure that actual learning has in fact taken place. For only then will we as a society not adopt the words of George Bernard Shaw.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”