A great trait of our species has been to survive and stay relevant in our environment. It is being said in this Age of Machines this ‘humanness’ of ours is our ticket to survival. But what does it mean to be human? I searched the internet in hopes of finding a simple definition to this seemingly straightforward question. To my surprise there is no clear agreement on what it means to be human! (which is a very very human thing by the way!!). Philosophy teaches us to dig deep inside, because all answers and goodness lies within. If I were asked list top three qualities of what it is to be human, I would say – The ability to reason, use our emotions and most importantly the ability to transcend ourselves. I believe, it’s the third one which has inspired every great act ever done. It’s when we think, do and act beyond ourselves that we create value. Which brings me to why I am penning down this piece in the first place – the notion that ‘sharing’ helps us transcend our own learning and truly create value for ourselves and others…
But let’s begin with the end here and first understand ‘learning’. One of best things about being human is the variety of perspective available on any topic. Learning being no different! Here is I present an adapted framework which most of us our familiar with
Step 1: Unconscious Skill Gap: We start with being unaware of our skill gap, a stage which is only crossed when a stimulus (say a feedback, an event) helps us become conscious of this gap
Step 2: Conscious Skill Gap: We are conscious of our skill gap and move ahead only when we ‘choose’ to address it (mentors helps us create this will to change). One of the most beautiful values we have at Schneider is ‘Learn Everyday’ and it’s a wonderful call for action that each day presents us this opportunity to choose and work upon a skill that we could be better at.
Step 3: We build the skill by consciously learning from our mistakes (mistakes and role models are good teachers!)
Step 4: We practice building the skill muscle we lack (coaches help us stay on track!)
Step 5: We help another move from the unconscious skill gap to unconscious skill by sharing what we know. This act is the bedrock of our leadership expectation ‘Build the best team’ which talks about making your team better than yourself (transcend yourself!)
Sharing what we know, what we are good at, only helps us refine our thoughts. Rituals like #whatdidyoulearntoday at Schneider is not just about calling out to ourselves the explicit learning we have had but it exhorts us to share with others and start a conversation which could potentially act as a stimulus to many other colleagues. It’s about quantum leap – creating points of disruption, not step change. After all, where do new ideas germinate? Conversations have this immense power to needle, question, clarify and provide impetus to change. This is what makes our work more meaningful and motivates us to contribute more
Another great platform that we have at Schneider is the Communities @ Work where likeminded colleagues come together to share and work on solving great problems together. These inclusive social spaces that we are creating for ourselves are occasions to exercise our humanness! Lets come together and make sharing an integral part of our learning.