The transformation we get in life by learning from others

Nik Moore - The Mindset Ninja

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Published: 15th May 2020

This Article was Written by: Nik Moore - The Mindset Ninja

Power to the people

No, I haven’t become a socialist all of a sudden. Instead it’s more about how we grow and develop as a human being. How we learn as a community and what we get from other people. The answer?

Pretty much everything!

We’re social creatures. We thrive in groups. We learn in groups. We gather in “herds”. But why is that and what does it matter?

Think about being a child.

Had we not had parents or a guardian what would have happened to our development? Without learning from the influential people in our lives as we grew up we simply wouldn’t have known what to do and what not to do. We wouldn’t know how to cross a road safely. Nor would we have learned how to ride a bike. We’d never have discovered how to socialise and the benefits of doing so.

We are, in one sense, by-products of other people.

Essentially all of our skills and talents were born out of observing others and how they behaved. Then we copied these behaviours. Next, we experienced how the results felt. We stuck with behaviours that brought us good results in life and we ditched those that didn’t. So we learn all thanks, quite simply put, to other people.

Sadly though, as we get older, we can all too often forget how much we get from other people. At the extreme, we then have narcissists who often also show signs of being Machiavellian and / or psychopaths. People who become so convinced that they know best that they start to see other people as objects and ignore the fact that others also have a valuable opinion and perspective to share. (There’s one very famous person in the world currently who shows massive signs of this – no clues as to who I am talking about)

Thankfully though, most of us aren’t like this. Yet, as adults, how often do we appreciate the fact that we still have a huge amount that we can learn from others and that, in doing so, we can massively grow as an individual?

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The Growth Mindset – the Holy Grail

I talk a lot about the Growth Mindset, and for good reason. Having one makes for a happier life in general. We grow and we get better results from trying new stuff out basically. But at the heart of having a Growth Mindset is just that….growth. And we grow all thanks to listening to the perspectives of others.

How we see the world is how we see it. That’s fine but it can also mean that, all too often, we can fall victim to getting “stunted” results in life by not seeing and appreciating the perspective of others. This often happens through “self-fulfilling prophecies”.

Let me give you an example. Let’s take a senior manager. He has traditionally done something in a particular way. It has always worked. He therefore tells everyone that his way is the right way. Let’s layer into this story the fact that he also has a massive ego which makes it difficult for his colleagues to get a word in edgeways. As nobody else tries anything else out their own way (through anxiety of reprimand) the manager sees only his way being brought to fruition (i.e. it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of his).But who cares. His way works so all is good.

What if, however, the following were allowed to happen?

That manager then, out of the blue, asks another colleague for their thoughts on how to approach the same situation. The colleague gives their perspective. The manager tries that approach out. They get an even better result than having done it their way. They learn and they grow from the experience.

There is nearly always a better way. It can be discovered by taking on board new perspectives.

Sometimes we get in our own way because we don’t take a deep breath and ask ourselves a simple question – “what might be the opinion of other people?”. However, because we became who we are right now all thanks to other people through our life history, what would happen if we re-engaged this desire to once again learn from others?

The 4 words that lead to a growth mindset

Other people see the world through their unique lens. They have totally different touchpoint with the world. They tread a different path. They have wholly unique and different experiences. And through experience comes….well….experience. Experience is all about feeling what works and what doesn’t. So we can easily tap into this resource simply by asking other people 4 simple words:

4 powerful words that open up the flood gates and allow us to tap into experiences beyond your own.

I learn from people half my age

I own an executive coaching business as well as a live events agency – it’s a long story but both companies hugely compliment each other because they’re both in industries associated with development and growth.

As I’m still an active Producer, it also allows me to work with an Event Management Training Company. I even reduce my big corporate day rate so that I can work with this company, such is my desire to do this sort of work. Why would I do work for less in this day and age where surely it’s all about making as much money as you can?

Because I love learning from others.

I work with people in their early twenties, most of which haven’t even ever been on the crew of a live event in a real-life environment. So what can they teach me?

Anything and everything.

People coming into the events industry (in fact any industry) are fresh. They haven’t got the baggage of failure under their belts. They are blissfully unaware of the full ramifications of what their ideas can involve…..and that’s fantastic.

When we experience one knock in our career after another, it shapes our perspective. It gives us a distorted opinion about what will work and what won’t. But the reality is that when we did get failure, it was all about the specific component parts which led up to that failure. Not the overall concept.

Let me give you an example. I have an online e-learning business. We spent many months failing and failing. Was it because you can’t make money selling online courses? No, it was the specifics of how we were approaching it. We failed. We learned. We adapted. And eventually we started making money.

And how we learned was by listening to the perspectives of others. We didn’t become so arrogant that we convinced ourselves that our way was the only way. Instead we kept an open mind, actively sought out other perspectives, brought those into the mix, and hey-presto it worked.

So the big question is….. what can we do to open up our minds to the perspectives of others?

Then the next big question is…. what can we do, right now, to try this approach out?

I hope as you’re reading this that you have a meeting some time later today. How about this as an invitation?

Walk into the meeting room with one sole purpose. Listen for as long as you possibly can before you speak. See what happens. I can almost guarantee you…..forget “almost” in fact…..I can guarantee you that you’ll get more from the meeting. I’d go so far as to promise that you will get more from that meeting.

All the best – have a great day learning from others.

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