Is resiliency the best trait for a learning professional to have?

Spring_AndrewJohnson_226x150OK, so I should warn you here that this isn’t exactly an upbeat blog post. It’s loaded with words like “don’t.”

It was…how shall I say…a challenging, invigorating, and humbling 2013. I transitioned from seven-ish years as an L&D analyst and researcher to an L&D practitioner/director. Here’s are some random observations and experiences from 2013:

  1. Practitioners don’t get the respect they deserve.
  2. The expertise of ‘vendors’ is often overlooked.
  3. I constantly struggle with being pragmatic vs. taking an idealistic view  of a problem.
  4. It is time-consuming and challenging to separate true experts from people who are just good at marketing themselves.
  5. An online learning community has a clock with no numbers on it.
  6. Clear instructions are underrated and underused.
  7. Research doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
  8. Successful live online learning requires at least one person (preferably two) plus the instructor. Never one.

My experience this past year has also led me to believe that best trait for a learning professional to have today is resiliency, defined by Webster’s as:

the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

Can you teach resiliency? This article say you can BUT only to a point. It notes a decades-long study led by Sir Michael Marmot (I have not read it in its entirety) into the health of civil servants which has shown that…

“…it is status and control that matter more than resilience, cognitive skills or attitude. It may be tough at the top, but it is considerably tougher lower down. “The high-status person has a lot of demand,” says Marmot, “but he or she has a lot of control, and the combination of high demand and low control is what’s stressful.”

I expect 2014 to be equally as challenging, invigorating and humbling as 2013 and I hope that by working on developing personal resiliency I will produce a list next year that’s isn’t filled with words like “don’t,” “struggle,” “time-consuming,” and “challenging.” Told you this wouldn’t be upbeat. Look for me at Learning Solutions. I’ll be the wet blanket in the corner reading a book about resiliency.

Photo: Andrew Johnson, iStock Photo

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