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Thriving in Crisis with Self-Learning

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The global pandemic Covid-19 gives crisis around the world. Not only for a health issue but also the economic problems. The pandemic impacted many companies over damage and going bankrupt slowly. It gets themselves into “surviving mode” for their business. Only the tough one can survive in this crisis.

This crisis also forces us to shift into an agile organization. Agile organization (or now still being small group) is entrepreneurial groups that designed to stay close with customers and adapt quickly to changing condition.  This kind of organization allows us to be more flexible in many ways like quickly adapting to product development, flexible working time, and more. This shifting most likely happens even when there’s no pandemic. If we can deal with this uncertain situation by accelerating our ways of learning, then we will improve our competence & capabilities towards work or anything else to keep ongoing.

One of the opportunities beyond this crisis is that we can learn from anything, that happens anytime and anywhere. People nowadays use the online platform for learning, such as a webinar. A webinar is a seminar conducted over the internet. This platform became popular since the global pandemic Covid-19. With the growing need to know more about how to utilize this opportunity, especially for the employees, Kimia Farma held a webinar entitled “Digital Ways of Self-Learning” on Friday, 11th September 2020. The speakers are Rizal from Kimia Farma, Kristina Aryanti, M.Psi, and Alwiyah Maulidiyah from Tjitra & associates.

In the webinar, we dived deep into how the current situation has tremendously forced our way of learning and why we should be accelerating our way of learning to survive in this crisis. One of the chances to accelerate learning is to improve self-learning. Self-learning is anything that we acquire from a formal or non-formal situation to make a permanent change in ourself. A self-learning has a significant impact for us to thrive in the hardness of this fast-paced and continuous change. We should look out for opportunities and make the best transformation to grow. 

The opportunity caused by the current situation makes learning platforms easy, instant, and diffused. The webinar mentioned above is accessible, which is often free, easy to find, and have many options for learning materials. It is also instant because we choose the learning materials based on our consideration. Aside from the webinar, there are podcasts, videos, or online courses as learning choices. These platform utilization make confusion about using the learning platform. The platforms mixed one another from the original purposes. For example, Youtube used to be an online platform to entertain us by watching videos or music videos. Nowadays, we can use YouTube to learn many things like cooking, exercising, even learning to be a management consultant.

So, how can we accelerate our self-learning in this situation?

First, let us reflect on our learning habits. Our learning habits are not always advantageous. Many of us are stuck in old ways to learn and not get the point of what we learn. What we need to do for optimizing the learning process is knowing ourselves and learning by adjusting our personality type. 

Yanti explained that self-awareness is the key to accelerate our learning. Adopting from an article of Harvard Business Review titled “Great Teams Are About Personalities” (2017), there are five styles of learning, pragmatic – autonomy, result-driven, relationship-focused, knowledge – thinker, rule – follower.

  1. Pragmatic autonomy (task-oriented)

This type has plenty of ideas, thriving under pressure, and like to share their creative ideas. They are likely a workaholic because they want to produce output. This type has difficulties in working on something outside their mind. Set the goals and limits will help to optimize the learning process. Also, choose the right topic and learning environment will help to optimize the learning process.

  1. Result-driven (ideas oriented)

This type has plenty of ideas, thriving under pressure, and like to share their creative ideas. They are likely a workaholic because they want to produce output. This type has difficulties in working on something outside their mind. Set the goals and limits will help to optimize the learning process. Also, choose the right topic and learning environment will help to optimize the learning process.

  1. Relationship-focused (people-oriented)

An outgoing person, perfect networker, and develop when they interact with others. A learning companion is necessary for them. The presence of a learning companion allows them to optimize their learning process. But too many social networks can bother them. Thus, they need to set a limit on interacting with others to focus on learning.

  1. Knowledge thinker (data-oriented)

This type has a high curiosity to learn, researching thoroughly. It has good analytical thinking, a detail-conscious, and needs data from trusted resources, need to convert the process into an output. This learning type can optimize the learning process by limit distraction while learning and set up their SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).

  1. Rule follower (rule-oriented)

This type is conservative, full of honour, and a truthful person. They decrease conflict and tend to be mediators. They are a structured learner, persistent and have their own pace to learn. Hence, they can improve the learning process by using learning tools and have a clear learning structure.

Besides know our style of learning, Yanti also shared that we need to make a clear plan with the 5W+1H formula. Here we go:

  1. What (What I want or need to learn?)

This question allows us to choose which learning we want to learn. We can split into two purposes, needs or obsession. Sometimes, we urgently have to learn something because of work demand. On the other side, we want something because we are obsessed with a new style. It helps to prioritize what we want or what we need.

  1. Why (Why I would or should to learn this?)

The question expresses more about the reason why we want or need to learn something. Is it because of the situation? is it because of the obsession that has procrastinated a long time ago? This question allows us to be persistent in learning. 

  1. Who (Who can I learn with?)

It gives you a chance to explain, with whom we can get our learning needs or which learning (created by expertise) materials are providing what we need. The answer can be our peers, mentor, or expertise in the field that we need to learn.

  1. Where (Where can I learn this?)

The answer to this question is not always a place. The answer can be an online platform where we learn a webinar, textbook, journal, Youtube, and more. Another response can be something that we get on experiential learning like a project on work.

  1. When (When I should learn this?)

It’s necessary to know when we need to learn something immediately. Along with reason other questions, we can arrange four types of prioritization that are urgent & important, urgent but not important, not urgent but necessary, and not urgent & not necessary.

  1. How (How can I achieve my goals from this learning?)

This question can define our plan for the learning process. Alongside another formula, we could deepen the need for learning and modify it into an action plan to help structured the learning progress and check the target.

This crisis surely startles people around the world. But we could see this as a positive thrust by giving a chance to notice and reflect ourselves in the learning process. We need to accelerate the ways of learning by improving our self-learning. Understanding our personality is necessary to define the most appropriate style of learning. Also, we need to assess what kind of learning that we need in this situation by asking the 5W+1H question. This plan would help us to organize the learning. Thus, we can thrive in this situation and be a better learner in the future.

Article created by Hasna N. Juned, S.Psi – Consultant of Tjitra & associates