Mastering the Art of Learning: From Novice to Expert

In this episode, I embark on a riveting exploration of the intricate journey of learning and personal development.

But what exactly are the four pivotal phases of learning that can transform the way we understand ourselves and others in the professional sphere? Why is this concept so crucial for supervisors looking to master the art of delegation and team management?

This episode isn’t just for those in leadership roles; it’s a beacon for anyone seeking clarity on their own path of acquiring new skills or undertaking new tasks.

Join me as I delve into these questions, offering insights into how we can navigate the learning curve with grace as I uncover the layers of learning, delegation, and personal growth, aiming not only to enhance your statistical prowess but also to refine your leadership and interpersonal abilities.

Here are more key points I talk about:

  • Journey through learning and personal development
  • Four pivotal phases of learning
  • Leadership course integration
  • Essential for effective delegation and team management
  • Guidance for individuals and leaders
  • From unawareness to unconscious competence
  • Enhancing statistical acumen
  • Refining leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Navigating the learning curve
  • Personal and professional growth exploration

Share this episode with your friends and colleagues to spread the valuable lessons and insights it offers for professional and personal growth. Let’s learn and grow together!

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Mastering the Art of Learning: From Novice to Expert

[00:00:00] Alexander: Welcome to another episode of the effective statistician. Today we want to talk about stories and the power of stories. Stories [00:00:10] can be an amazing tool for communication. Super powerful. There’s this quote that who asks, who answers. is a person that [00:00:20] leads. And there’s a lot in truth in this. However, we can also mess up with stories.

[00:00:28] Alexander: There’s a funny story [00:00:30] once during the COVID pandemic when there was homeschooling that I have seen with my child. So he got homework, of course, homework, it was [00:00:40] during the pandemic, everybody was homeschooling, from the teacher. And the teacher asked ten questions. And they were all [00:00:50] like this.

[00:00:51] Alexander: Are you are able to explain x, y, z? Do you know about [00:01:00] this and that, and all these kind of different closed questions. And my, at the time, I think [00:01:10] something like 8-year-old, what did he do? He said, Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, ten times, and was [00:01:20] done. And when we saw that, we were kind of laughing, yeah, he answered all questions correctly.[00:01:30] 

[00:01:31] Alexander: Yes, I am able to explain these things. You ask a closed question so you get a yes no answer. That is the correct answer [00:01:40] to a yes no question. Probably the intent of the teacher was of course something different. But she asked a [00:01:50] closed question so she gets a closed answer. Yes, no. Questions and how [00:02:00] often you ask these make a huge difference.

[00:02:05] Alexander: Recently, at a leadership training we had these kind of conversations [00:02:10] in terms of negotiation, and we played a typical scene. So there was a participant from the training, [00:02:20] and I was playing the physician that wants to have more tables. And so I said, I, you know, I need these 100 [00:02:30] tables. And then she asked, started to ask questions.

[00:02:35] Alexander: Okay, what do you need this for? Yeah, I need these to write [00:02:40] an abstract. What do you need the abstract for? Well, I want to go to this conference and present this abstract. And the abstract tagline [00:02:50] is there. And that went on for some time and then she stopped. What she didn’t ask [00:03:00] was, why do you want to go to this conference?

[00:03:05] Alexander: What is the purpose behind that? What do you want to achieve by [00:03:10] submitting an abstract there? What is the underlying thing? And this is so, so important. In negotiation, [00:03:20] in conflict resolution, and all these kind of different situations, you need to understand what is the intent behind it. In [00:03:30] negotiation, I very often speak about the difference between intent, And position.

[00:03:38] Alexander: Position is what the person [00:03:40] asked for. I want 100 tables. Intent is what is the underlying goal of that. And very often you only get to the [00:03:50] intent if you ask lots of lots of different questions.

[00:03:54] Alexander: And so keep asking these questions until you’re really sure you are [00:04:00] at the intent.

[00:04:01] Alexander: Another thing, when you do networking, great questions will make a huge difference. [00:04:10] Gary Ivan talks about his story in terms of doing networking with, you know, important stakeholders that he has, you know, [00:04:20] at the time. So these were group leaders or directors of other groups his team was working with, and he would have [00:04:30] Often kind of meetings with them, very often in a more kind of casual way, maybe over lunch or over coffee.

[00:04:37] Alexander: And he would ask a very, very typical [00:04:40] question. What are the things that keep you up at night? And sometimes the other person would kind of open up and speak about kind of what are [00:04:50] the real problems. Often, they would kind of think like, well, from a statistical point of view, like, Because Gary was a statistician and then started, [00:05:00] and then Gary would stop and say, no, no, irrespective of whether I’m a statistician, what are the things that keep you up at night?

[00:05:08] Alexander: This is really important to kind of [00:05:10] set the frame correctly, because otherwise, Gary would have only gotten problems where the other person thought, oh, [00:05:20] Gary could help potentially. Now, the other person, of course, doesn’t know what Gary can really do. That is, these are only [00:05:30] things that Gary knows. And that is the same for when you talk to other people.

[00:05:35] Alexander: When you talk to someone within the regulatory, [00:05:40] within HR, within medical, clinical, clinical operations, in HTA, all these kind of different things. [00:05:50] They will often not know what you’re really capable of. So take away any kind of restrictions that they have in mind. [00:06:00] Another thing, one of my leadership trainers told the story once and [00:06:10] yes, I’m doing leadership training.

[00:06:11] Alexander: I’m actually participating in leadership training because I always want to do leadership training. and learn more about things in terms of leadership. And [00:06:20] every good leadership trainer always kind of looks for other trainers that help them. So this leadership trainer told the following [00:06:30] story. He had this kind of problem and he wanted to solve it.

[00:06:36] Alexander: However, he To actually solve it, he [00:06:40] needed to invest 3000 euros. And he thought, wow, that’s really crazy lots of money. And so he [00:06:50] went to this person in the in this department he was working as. I don’t remember whether that was finance or marketing or something like this. And said, [00:07:00] I think I have a solution, but it’s far too expensive.

[00:07:06] Alexander: And then the other person said, okay, tell me what it [00:07:10] costs. And he said, ah, it’s really expensive. I think potentially I can get it for three thousand. And the other person was laughing. Oh, [00:07:20] let me show you. And then he showed kind of all the investments and numbers and things like that. And these three thousands were [00:07:30] just lost in the roundings.

[00:07:33] Alexander: These were peanuts for the other person. Don’t assume [00:07:40] something. Always ask. Don’t take things for granted that this will always take that long, or this will be [00:07:50] always that expensive, or this is so important, or this is less important. Ask. Clarify your assumptions. Don’t just go [00:08:00] into things and assume people know.

[00:08:03] Alexander: Assume certain things. With not clarified and conflicting assumptions, there’s so [00:08:10] many problems coming from this. And you can only solve these by asking questions. Checking your [00:08:20] assumptions.

[00:08:20] Alexander: So, ask better questions. Ask open questions. Ask for what are the underlying things. [00:08:30] If you delegate things, you can ask questions like, what do you need from me to be successful here? [00:08:40] Great question. So, ask valid questions. That will make a huge impact. in your [00:08:50] professional life. If you want to learn more about all things leadership, there’s a lot more episodes about leadership that I already have here recorded on [00:09:00] the podcast.

[00:09:01] Alexander: There’s also a lot more coming up, so please subscribe to the podcast. And if you want to become really, really influential [00:09:10] as a leader, I have a look into the Effective Statistician Academy. There’s a couple of things you can get from there that will make you a more [00:09:20] effective statistician, a more influential statistician.

[00:09:24] Alexander: So stay tuned, have fun, and be an effective [00:09:30] statistician.


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