[This article initially appeared in the 2022 Spring Issue of Two More Chains.]
What is the learning system like on your module, crew, or home unit? How does it work? Do you dedicate specific time to learning or do you have a more opportunistic approach—capitalizing on learning moments as they present themselves?
Regardless of the system, we must embrace the mindset that time and energy spent learning is time and energy spent seeking improvement. We are all responsible to create space for deliberate reflection on what has happened and why, and to share our stories of lessons learned. This is the case in a formal learning setting such as in a classroom or in an informal setting such as during the hours spent completing routine tasks around the base.
Whether you are in the role of student or teacher, what is your attitude toward on-the-job training? Do you spend time and energy to develop others? Do you advocate for your own development?
In the formal learning system, we have position task books to guide on-the-job training. Task books outline the tasks that must be successfully performed to become qualified in the position. Informally, endless opportunities exist for organic on-the-job training. A qualified or skilled practitioner surely has tricks of the trade or best practices to impart to less experienced folks that would not be captured in a standardized task list but are just as important to successful job performance.
Give some thought to your learning system. Knowing and being able to explain it is the first step toward maximizing your learning opportunities.