Learning Can Come From Anywhere

What are you doing different? That was the question George Blankenship, former executive for companies like Tesla, Apple and Gap, asked last week at the National Association of Realtors Broker Summit in San Diego, California. (side note, if you EVER get the opportunity to see George Blankenship speak, go, you will not regret it!)

Good question I thought to myself. And really, it could apply to anyone, in any industry. I contemplated him question for a few moments, but the answer came fairly quickly and easily to me. What was I, Meg Lyttle, doing differently? Well, I was there. At a Broker Summit, with some of the leading Broker and Broker owners in the United States. I was approximately 3,237 km’s away from home. I was the only Canadian in the room. And I was there, wanting to take it all in, learn from my peers, from industry leaders. Which brings me to the topic of my post today. Learning. Both professionally and personally further developing and bettering one’s self. That’s what I want to talk about.

When it comes to learning, the mind automatically goes to the “textbook” version, what we were taught learning was from Kindergarten, through High School, Post-Secondary and beyond. And there is nothing wrong with that method of learning. It’s great. In class learning is one of the most popular ways to learn, and rightly so, when you can share experiences and have great debates with fellow classmates alike. But there are many different methods of learning and everyone learns differently.

Like mentioned above, there is the classic Textbook method, so in our industry, this would be OREA courses, etc. Then of course there is one of my personal favourites, seminars, conferences and summits. Let’s call this “Learning by Example.” Since day one in Real Estate, I have made it a priority to attend as many of these “Learning by Example” conferences as possible. Whether its a National one, a Provincial one, something put on by your local board or, something like Emerge (one of the best ones I’ve been to) this can be a very inspiring way to learn. When a motivational speaker is engaging and has you questioning the way you do things, it really leaves you feeling inspired and refreshed. I love learning this way as it motivates me and keeps me on my toes, so to speak. 

Another great way to learn is by experience. Whether it be your own personal experience or the experience of another, learning by experience is a great way to be taught a lesson (be it good or bad). I think sharing our own personal experiences, much like we do on Facebook in different Groups, can be a great takeaway and is a very valuable and affordable way of learning. 

And then there is one of my all time favourite ways to learn – reading. I believe reading books can teach someone so much. I have been reading since I was young and the love to read has stuck with me. There are books that are industry related, like Barbara Corcoran’s – Shark Tales. There are books that get your mind thinking and talk about leadership, like the book I’m currently reading, Start With Why – Simon Sinek. Or there are even Fictional books that can teach a lesson. Reading lets your mind wander and can take you places (free of charge, yay!) where you decide the outcome. There are no marks, no pressure, just the pure pleasure of learning.

Finally, there are courses that provide designations. These courses are much like Textbook Learning, but come with an annual fee (usually) and give you a professional designation, sometimes with letters following your name. This is probably my least favourite way of learning. Not because I don’t find the courses valuable, but rather because most times, in order to maintain the Professional Designation you must pay an annual fee, for life. Before I even got into Real Estate, I took a Certified Staging Course, which was 3 days long. After the course, it got me my CSP designation – Certified Staging Professional. I kept that designation for two years and then never renewed it. I didn’t see the value in it and ultimately, regardless of a designation, I still had the knowledge required to stage a home. (which I use to this day) So while this way of learning is still valuable, I wouldn’t say its my preferred method.

So ladies and gentlemen, that about sums up my thoughts on learning. I think its integral to us in our careers and personal lives. I believe there will always be something new to learn and that we can learn many ways. The choice is yours to make as everyone has a different desired method of learning. 

So tell me by commenting below or posting on Facebook and tagging me, what is YOUR preferred method of learning and why? I would love to have an open discussion on this. Because who knows what you might learn! 

“The Beautiful thing about Learning is that no one can take it away from you.” -BB King

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