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A Powerful Learning Approach That Smart Students Use to Learn Fast and Get Great Results

A Powerful Learning Approach That Smart Students Use to Learn Fast and Get Great Results

Are you looking for new approaches to learning? If so, there are powerful approaches you can learn outside the conventional techniques you were taught in school. For some, unconventional approaches are a necessity, as typical approaches simply do not work for us. It’s like requiring everyone to be a PC, yet you are a MAC. So, continue reading if you are a MAC stuck in a PC world.

I have developed an approach to learning that uses a combination of some of the most effective outside-the-box approaches to learning. Behind this approach lies one simple formula called The Learning Formula (TLR). With TLR, we start by learning something new, followed by actively processing new knowledge, then applying it as soon as possible; thus, demonstrating that learning updates in our brain by using the following formula: Learning = Download + Process + Apply.

Using this formula (and similar approaches to learning), I created the Deep Rabbit Hole (DRH) Learning Theory.

What Makes DRH an Effective Learning Approach?

I will demonstrate the algorithm for this theory. However, before I dive into the algorithm, let’s first discuss two key concepts I used as the framework for the theory. Think of these two concepts as my heuristic (a tool or approach to problem solving or learning).

To understand something quickly: Solo Taxonomy

    The structure of observed learning outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy is a model describing the levels of increasing complexity of a student’s understanding of a concept. With Solo Taxonomy, you are moving from the prestructural form (where the student is unsure of the concept) to the extended abstract (where the student, not only understands the concept, but looks at the ideas in a new and extended way). This approach is effective in guiding us in asking the right questions. [1]

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      To remember ideas better than others: Chunking

        Chunks are small units of knowledge logically fitting together allowing us to practice and remember what we learn. We have a better chance of storing the new information in our long-term memory by breaking these larger pieces of information down into smaller chunks. [2]

        With chunking, imagine that you are trying to solve a problem, where the problem has four basic elements. We can only hold approximately four thoughts in our working memory, so we must find ways to group related elements into chunks. Once we successfully assemble useful elements into chunks, we can then use our working memory to manipulate concepts. In order to do this, we must first understand how concepts fit together. This is why the use of analogies are so effective. [3]

        How to Apply DRH Learning Theory to Learn Fast?

        My informal definition of an algorithm is simply a step-by-step process or set of rules I use in my theory. Using an algorithm helps in solving difficult and abstract problems, such as a wicked problem. Let’s take a look at each step of the algorithm.

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          1. Identify what you are trying to solve or learn.

          Using this article as an example, here we are trying to understand what smart students do to learn fast with good results. This would form the question or problem we are trying to solve or understand.

          2. Clearly state the purpose.

          It is important to have a clear direction and understanding of your objective. In this article, my objective is to clearly outline how students can learn fast with the best results.

          3. Identify what you’ve already known.

          This provides students a perfect opportunity to use Solo Taxonomy as discussed earlier.

          4. Use a Deep Rabbit Hole (DRH).

          Here we are using a combination of chunking with a semantic tree. With this tool, you are deconstructing the concept, question, or idea. We are clearly identifying the parts of the rabbit hole we want to apply. We do this by coloring or circling those components we would like to further apply or break into their own DRH.

            5. Use an Analogy.

            An analogy is simply a comparison between two concepts for the purpose of explanation.

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              6. Create or use a Diagram.

              A diagram is a drawing that represents the appearance or structure of something in graphic form. This could be anything from a simple sketch, to a detailed outline of a building.

                7. Form your Theory or Hypothesis.

                A powerful approach we can use to form a Hypothesis is to use a form of deductive reasoning called syllogistic reasoning. For example, let’s take a look at one of Aristotle’s famous syllogisms.

                • Premise #1: All humans are animals (represented as H).
                • Premise #2: All animals are mortal (represented as A).

                Conclusion: Therefore, all humans are mortal (represented as M).

                8. Practice and apply your Theory or Hypothesis.

                Finally, let’s look at how we can firmly secure what we are studying or learning in our memory. By applying what we learn, we are able to secure it in long-term memory. Let’s look at two powerful techniques to use in order to practice and apply our new knowledge.

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                To enhance your memory: The Method of Loci

                The Method of Loci is a mnemonic device dating back to Ancient Greek times. It is a method of memory enhancements using visualization combined with spatial memory. [4]

                  To learn a difficult concept: ADEPT

                  The ADEPT method of learning is a way to help us learn a difficult idea or concept by using the following: Use an Analogy, create or find a Diagram, personally Experience the concept, try to explain the idea or concept in Plain English, and then describe the Technical Details of the concept.

                    Start to take up these powerful approaches and make them your good study habits to learn fast and smart!

                    Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

                    Reference

                    More by this author

                    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

                    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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                    Last Updated on August 7, 2018

                    14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

                    14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

                    Being a leader of a company or organization is certainly a difficult and often frustrating position – but it can also be tremendously rewarding.

                    Whether you’re just starting out as a leader, or have been leading for a while, you’ll be sure to benefit from knowing the essential traits that all great leaders possess.

                    Effective and successful leaders transcend the title of ‘manager’ or ‘boss’. They’ve found a way to achieve the perfect combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance (with a healthy dose of luck and timing probably added to the mix).

                    It may seem like some people are gifted with leadership skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned, adopted, and strengthened with time and practice.

                    As we delve into the list of effective leadership traits, you will learn the behaviors and attitudes of a good leader.

                    The 14 most important leadership traits

                    Please read through the list of leadership qualities carefully. Take note of which of the traits you excel at – and which ones you need to work at.

                    Traits for better self-development

                    1. Vision and mission

                    Having a clear picture of what needs to be achieved is a crucial quality of good leadership.

                    This vision is often communicated in a mission statement, such as this one from Starbucks:

                      How to develop vision? Spend time pinpointing what you need to achieve, and then plan the steps to get there. Here’s a complete guide on creating your own vision.

                      2. Self-motivated

                      It’s no coincidence that successful leaders have an abundance of self-motivation.

                      Without a decent level of self-motivation, you’ll struggle to become a strong and respected leader. However, if you don’t have a lot of self-motivation right now, don’t despair.

                      One of the secrets is to have definite goals to keep you motivated at all times. Some people also choose to reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, and this is certainly a good way to keep yourself enthused and motivated. Learn how to set an ambitious yet achievable goal here.

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                      3. Optimism and positivity

                      Positive energy is contagious. Great leaders are overflowing with this type of energy.

                      Not only does a positive mindset make leaders easy to work with, but it also gives them a constant source of inspiration and ideas.

                      Tap into this energy by aligning yourself with positive people and positive goals. Find out more about the habits of positive people here.

                      4. Emotional stability

                      In leadership positions, frustration and stress are daily occurrences. This is why leaders need to have strong and stable emotions. They can’t allow themselves to be easily knocked off track.

                      If you’re prone to losing your emotional stability when stressed or frustrated, try some of these techniques: breath deeply and slowly for 30 seconds, go for a walk, drink some water (instead of tea or coffee), turn your focus onto something you can resolve. Here’re some effective ways to control your emotions.

                      5. Self-confidence

                      Watch a presentation by any CEO and you’ll see that even if they’re not natural presenters – they make up for this by having powerful self-confidence.

                      It’s not just CEOs who have self-confidence, any successful leader will have this trait in abundance. One reason for this, is that only a confident person can persuade others and gain their respect.

                      Worried that you have low self-confidence? Try faking it. Psychologists often recommend that if you ‘act’ at being confident, you’ll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time… you will be.

                      If you look for more ways to boost your self-confidence, this confidence coach has got you some nice advice:

                      How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                      6. Decisiveness

                      Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions (some leaders may have to make dozens of decisions every day). In fact, you could say that making decisions is one of the key things a leader must do.

                      Spend some time observing highly-successful leaders and you’ll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when they’re asked to decide on something.

                      Put yourself in the leadership bracket by developing your decision-making skills. Start with small decisions – and then work your way up to bigger and more difficult decisions. Once other people notice your decision-making prowess, they’ll automatically see you as leadership material.

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                      I know it’s really quite difficult to make the right decisions sometimes, but don’t worry, here’s a guide for you:

                      How To Make Good Decisions All The Time

                      7. Passion and enthusiasm

                      Expressive. Active. Energetic. These are words best describe a passionate leader.

                      Great leaders are lively, driven and are possessed with zeal and purpose. It’s this passion that helps them achieve big results. If you want to emulate their success, then you need to develop passion and enthusiasm for the work at hand, and the end goals.

                      Take a look at this Passion Pyramid to find out how importance a leader’s passion is to the team:

                        One way to do this is to find what motivates you, and keep your focus firmly on that. For example, i f you’re motivated by helping others, then make sure your role and company are both suited to realizing this. If you’re motivated by money, then put your focus on achieving bonuses and pay rises.

                        Take a look at Leo Babauta’s guide on how to find your passion.

                        8. Accountability and responsibility

                        Exceptional leaders know that at all times they’ll need to take responsibility for tasks and their results. This includes things likes individual and team performance, as well as being accountable for when things go wrong.

                        When negative things occur (and you can guarantee they will from time-to-time), a great leader will immediately step in and take responsibility. Initially, they’ll try to resolve the problem in as quick and smooth a way as possible. But if this is not feasible, they’ll be sure to say that the buck stops with them – and they take full responsibility for what has happened.

                        To develop your leadership skills, you must never shy away from responsibility or accountability. If you prefer to sweep mistakes under the carpet, then you’re demonstrating non-leadership traits. Try owning up to issues and finding solutions to them. By doing this, you’ll immediately gain people’s respect.

                        Find out some tips on how to be a more responsible person here.

                        9. Focus

                        Distractions are everywhere. And it takes major focus to stay committed to tasks and goals. The best leaders understand this, and therefore, they’re always looking at ways to boost their team’s focus.

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                        One way leaders do this, is to keep their team intensely focused on the bigger picture. This might entail allocating specific time for tasks and eliminating any non-essential work.

                        If you’re easily knocked off track, you’ll need to spend some time boosting your focus. Try planning your day, week, month and year to help ensure that you don’t fall behind with achieving your goals. Check out the 7 strategies of staying super focus recommended by a productivity coach.

                        10. Ever-learning

                        Leaders know that to be successful they need to continually update their skills and knowledge. They deliberately learn all they can about their profession and industry, so they’ll able to make confident and assured decisions.

                        Why is ever learning so important? I’ll leave it to you to find out the reason here:

                        If I Am Living a Good Life, Why Should I Bother Learning New Stuff?

                        Imagine a CEO of a solar power company. His company may have amazing solar panels, but when it comes to discussing business with potential buyers, if the CEO or his sales team show a lack of understanding about the solar industry and future trends, etc., they’ll be unlikely to win any business.

                        It’s exactly the same for you. If you’re a team leader at an electronics store, you should make sure you fully understand all the products that you offer. But go beyond just that, and read about upcoming products and trends that might change what customers are interesting in buying in the future.

                        Traits for effective communication

                        11. Empathy

                        The best leaders understand the feeling of their team members, customers and associates. They know when to praise, and when to discuss problems (usually in private).

                        Without empathy, leaders will be seen as cold, harsh and lacking understanding. They’re also likely to be regarded as untrustworthy.

                        One way to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is to have regular informal discussions with your colleagues. When you do this, you’ll quickly learn their fears and desires. And when you understand why they have these – you’ll be in a position to express empathy. You can also learn to be more sensitive to others’ needs by taking up these communication skills.

                        12. Persuasive and influential

                        Communications are at the heart of all transactions. Whether it’s pitching for a sale or resolving a customer complaint, how you communicate will determine the outcome.

                        Charismatic leaders such as Richard Branson (Virgin) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are confident and persuasive communicators. They know how to win over audiences and leave a lasting impressing in people’s minds.

                        There’re some common barriers that you’ll have to overcome in order to communicate effectively:

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                        How to learn effective communication? You could join the world-renowned U.S. nonprofit Toastmasters International. They’ve been training people in the art of public speaking since 1924, and members have included Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

                        If you don’t have time to join a club, then practice your communications skills at home. You can do this in front of a mirror, or even better, video yourself presenting, and then ask some friends and family members for feedback. You’ll be amazed at what they pick up on.

                        Traits for ensuring an engaging team

                        13. Team building

                        If you put a bunch of random people together, you may have a loose definition of a team. In reality, a real team has purpose, drive – and a leader lighting the way.

                        If you’ve worked in different teams and with different managers, you’ll no doubt have come to this conclusion:

                        Managers who treat their team members like children are unpopular with the team. Conversely, managers who treat their team members like adults, are respected and well-liked by the team.

                        The days of disciplinarian managers are passed. Nowadays, successful team leaders know how to inspire and motivate their team, while keeping a harmonious atmosphere between all team members.

                        14. Fostering creativity

                        Solutions to problems are rarely black and white. Often it takes a leader who can ‘think outside the box’ to come up with answers. In other words, a leader must be creative, and also help to foster creativity and innovation throughout their team.

                        Creativity is not only associated with pursuits such as arts, literature and music, running a team can be just as creative. There will be times every day when you need to come up with ideas and give guidelines for your team to come up with theirs to solve problems.

                        Leadership is a journey of continuous learning

                        Leadership is an amazing experience that will take you on roads you’ve never traveled before.

                        Begin now to build your skills and experience, pick out the traits that you currently lack – and then work on developing those.

                        It will take tons of practice and time before becoming an effective leader but eventually you will join the ranks of great leaders.

                        Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

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