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You Can Easily Become A Knowledgeable Person (With This Learning Approach)

You Can Easily Become A Knowledgeable Person (With This Learning Approach)

Ever wish to be more well-rounded, knowledgeable, or well-informed about the world around you? Not sure how get there? Some people use a certain technique that allows them to constantly learn and become knowledgeable on numerous topics. These curious people (whether they know it or not) use a technique dubbed “rotating curiosity.”

Rotating curiosity[1] happens when interests, curiosities, or passions constantly change. This means that what interested someone six months ago might no longer be interesting today. No, it’s not a mental health disorder. It’s actually a sign of a very creative mind!

For some people with rotating curiosity, making career or life decisions can be difficult. Due to constantly changing interests, one day you may think that you have found your dream job only to lose interest in six months to a year. Although it can be frustrating at times, people with rotating curiosity can be extremely knowledgeable on many widely varied topics. Want to be successful in many different areas of life? All it takes is organizing your ideas and a little motivation.

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How Rotating Curiosity Makes you Knowledgeable

Passion for a certain topic creates a hunger to learn everything there is to know about that topic. Endless research, studying, questioning, and executing that knowledge is a result of rotating curiosity. However, once interest for that topic fizzles, another passion is tackled and the process repeats itself. This results in gaining a huge amount of knowledge, skills, and experience in life and even gaining the upper hand when it comes to work experience or being extremely successful in certain niches or career fields.

Set goals

One of the most boring but best things you can do when starting any new endeavor is to set goals.[2] There is much evidence that goals are key to success.[3] It helps to keep your eyes on the prize. Setting goals clarifies how and why you want to use rotating curiosity to have a brighter mind. They help you stay focused throughout the process.

Find topics that interest you

Who wants to learn about macromolecules and cell biology? Someone interested in biology of course, but if you don’t have an interest in learning about biology you won’t study it. If you aren’t interested in a topic, you won’t take the time to learn more about it. Find something that sparks your interest and motivates you to study it. That’s the essence of rotating curiosity and ultimately the core of being a knowledgeable person.

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Learn from experts

Do you know anyone that is really good at something you’re interested in? Go ask them about it! Many people who are passionate about their expertise are more than willing to share what it takes to be knowledgeable about that topic. Most people love to gush about their passion. That equals free, expert knowledge for you.

Studying and following experts on the internet is also a great way to learn. Great platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, and especially Google make it easy to study experts, follow them, and learn what exactly makes them knowledgeable and successful.

Forget career ladders

The classic approach to being successful in a career is climbing the good old career ladder. “Start from the bottom and work your way to the top” is how many people look at success, but sometimes having skills in many different career fields or niches can prepare you to be even more successful.

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If you want to go into a solid career field like healthcare or engineering then staying for the long haul is probably the best way to go, but if you’re unsure of which career you’d like having multiple careers could work in your favor. By gaining a diverse set of skills and experiences you are developing abilities that not many people have. This gives you the advantage when you do want to settle on a solid career path making you more successful in the long run.

Track your progress

Tracking progress lets you see results. Results are what motivate any human being. They also create a drive to work harder to see even more results!

There are many ways to track progress whether it’s what you’re learning, your income, or how you interact with people. Excel spreadsheets are popular and so are apps. There are countless free apps like GoalsOnTrack or Irunurun that help track progress. Once you start seeing that your hard work is paying off you’ll want to stick with it and maybe even tackle the next goal!

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Start learning with rotating curiosity!

With these tricks and tools, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a more knowledgeable person. By setting goals, becoming an expert on a topic that interests you, executing your new skills, and then starting over with a new topic, rotating curiosity could be what you need to be successful at whatever you want. Pretty soon, people will be coming to you for expert knowledge and skills.

Reference

[1] Medium: 6 Ways to Take Advantage of Rotating Curiosity
[2] Academic Success Center: Goal Setting
[3] Early To Rise: Goal Setting: The Key To Success

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Last Updated on June 3, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

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