Talaera Talks - Business English Communication

72. Self-Directed Learning - Talaera Talks with Lavinia Mehedintu

November 08, 2022 Talaera Business English Communications Training Episode 72
Talaera Talks - Business English Communication
72. Self-Directed Learning - Talaera Talks with Lavinia Mehedintu
Show Notes Transcript

Is self-directed learning for everybody? What can organizations do to nurture learning autonomy? What can you do to implement successful self-study programs in your organizations?

In this episode, we have a very special guest - L&D expert Lavinia Mehedintu. She's the mastermind behind Offbeat and she shared invaluable insights into self-directed learning with us.

🤩 Read the full post: https://blog.talaera.com/self-directed-learning

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Paola Pascual  0:03  
Welcome to Talaera talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon.

Simon Kennell  0:13  
In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show. 

Simon Kennell  0:24  
Welcome back, everyone for another episode of Talaera Talks wherever you are. My name is Simon and I hope you're having a great day as always, I'm joined by our awesome co host Paola. Paola, how are you doing today?

Paola Pascual  0:39  
I'm doing great doing great. You know, it's it's really nice weather here in Valencia, Spain, and I'm very excited about today's episode.

Simon Kennell  0:48  
Yeah, it's gonna be a good one another guest episode, but this is a guest that I think we're both very, very excited to have as learning professionals. This is like a real Yeah, a real treat for us. And we're very, very excited to welcome Lavinia onto our podcast and as always, I'm gonna give a little intro. So be prepared to be a little embarrassed, Lavinia, because it's all amazing things. Lavinia Mehedintu is a learning designer and entrepreneur, an awesome one. With extensive experience in People Ops, this includes Employer Branding, recruitment, onboarding, engagement, internal communications, and of course learning and development, just to name a few. Lavinia has actually used this deep knowledge in learning design to launch a newsletter for L&D professionals called Offbeat. And if you are in the L&D industry in the L&D game, then you have to be familiar with offbeat the newsletter ended up growing organically and now it's actually turned into its own startup, which is just amazing. And in their own words, and I stole this from your LinkedIn profile, Lavinia, Offbeat's mission is to become the first place that all L&D is think of when they search for inspiration, answers learning and growth opportunities, learning partners, and new jobs as well. So, you know, I've personally relied Offbeat as a resource for myself, in my role in People Ops at Talaera. And I think I, along with many, many others can highly recommend it. So, you know, we're excited today to talk about you know, all things offbeat and learning. So, yeah, so, Lavinia, thank you for joining us.

Lavinia Mehedintu  2:44  
Thank you for having me. And definitely a very impressive description of myself. It's always so awkward to, you know, hear all that. Like, yeah, thank you so much.

Simon Kennell  2:55  
Yeah, it's, it's amazing to have you on. And, you know, we've known each other for a little while now. But it's just been, I think, incredible to watch, you know, offbeat just continue to grow and develop. And, I mean, my first question, really is, and I'm really curious about it is just, you know, where was the start of this whole offbeat adventure for you? What, what kind of made you think you know, what, I'm gonna go for it, and I'm gonna, you know, press go on this adventure.

Lavinia Mehedintu  3:25  
So it all started with a very boring Sunday, to be honest. So there's no impressive story. Oh, my God, I thought about this. And I knew exactly where I want to end up. But rather, when the pandemic started, I was stuck in house Oh, no, no friends, no family, nothing to do, other than just sit around and work and watch TV shows, which wasn't that fun. So I started the series of LinkedIn posts, and someone suggested to turn it into into a newsletter. So I said, Okay, why not? Let's do it. And, yeah, it's definitely been a journey, I can say, because there is a difference between, you know, just posting on LinkedIn from time to time, some resources to actually being consistent with sending the newsletter every every Sunday, I have to say didn't pick my, my best, the best day of the week, but that's what happened. And yeah, it's also so it's not just that it's also that I am a research geek. So over the years, I I gathered so many really cool resources, but before I had no place to share them with people, and yeah, now I have my own little space.

Simon Kennell  4:43  
Yeah, it's it's been incredible. I think, you know, anyone in like the people ops and the learning space, it's like resources are gold, like good resources are just if you find them, you stash them away in your little, you know, in your little vial cap Wherever you haven't, because they are so important. I mean, how did you know that this was the like, like people? Did you have an idea that people would just latch on to this kind of how they did?

Lavinia Mehedintu  5:11  
I think so I kind of already had a taste on a small scale of what often it can do, because I was an L&D manager in my previous company. And I had a big team of 11 people. And I could see that actually, you know, curation is really a skill and finding those good, high quality resources is is not as you know, is rare, which is weird to say, but it really is. So every time I would send some some research to people, they would be Oh, my God, how did you find this? This was really helpful, and so on. So yeah, I think I got a small taste of it. And then, as I was off with group people, there are two things that were really important for people. One that I they said that I saved them time to go on Google and search for resources. But because you know, right now, Google is this huge, huge thing. I don't know, you can get lost, you can you can get down the rabbit hole. And it's really hard to assess whether a resource is good or not. So having someone doing that for you is definitely very, very helpful. So yeah, and I hope the because everyone is mentioning high quality. I was thinking, what people what words people use when they talk about orphans? And yeah, it's it is a struggle to keep it up, you know. But yeah, I think it's really important for the trust of everyone out there as well.

Paola Pascual  6:51  
And you're doing such a great, great job. We're both subscribers, and you said, You picked the wrong day. But for me, it's actually like a nice, you know, it gets me ready for the week. And I look forward to it every Sunday. So I think you're doing a fabulous job. And you know, curation is really, really hard, as you said, but you somehow managed to give a very, you know, concise view of a specific topic that you want to talk about. And then you know, you always add, like additional links, and you always have that little like surprise box, just to add some mystery and curiosity, which we'll talk about today. So yeah, really, really great job. Thank you so much for what you do. And yeah, so you also have a podcast. How's it going?

Lavinia Mehedintu  7:41  
It's really, really fun. Actually, what often it allowed me to do is open the space for other people to just jump with ideas and just say, Oh, I have I have this thing in mind. Would you like to do that together? And a member of our community, and a very good friend of mine now came to me and said, Look, I'm just like my news feed. My LinkedIn feed is filled with L&D professionals, and they only talk to L&D professionals. And I think it's enough like I wanna I'm curious. I'm curious what's beyond beyond that. And, yeah, it was, it was a really, really cool idea. And she was thinking, okay, we can talk to surgeons, we can talk to, you know, people that are closer to us, like behavior scientists like whatever. And she, she came to me with this, and I said, Yes, let's do it. I had no idea what no having a podcast means. But we said, okay, let's just go out there and look for people. And we have now an episode about addiction and recovery. We spoke to Commander from the Australian Army, which is so so cool. So yeah, and we have some other really cool episodes coming but the idea is to break the lnd bubble to go beyond l&d and try and find in other industries practices that we can apply in our our work as well.

Paola Pascual  9:12  
It's very interesting and I I really loved it because when I went on to your show like to to check out the podcast. What I found is not what I would have expected from an LNB podcast, right like as you said, addiction and then talking to this Australian person. So yeah, also fantastic job and best of luck with that. And I'm really really excited about today's topic, like the topic that we want to talk with you about and that is self directed learning or like self study. We've also used this word self study. Here at Talaera, we started doing one on one sessions, you know, to to help people communicate better. And then we've been expanding that offering and at some point with self-directed learning is also a big part of this, you know, adult learning. So we wanted to explore that. And so when we opened up this opportunity, we started hearing a lot of questions from the L&D and HR professionals we work with, and, and we thought, what better professional to ask that than Lavinia? Right. And so here this is, you know, that's, that's a bit the topic. So we'll talk about what self directed learning is and how to foster that in an organization. We will talk a little bit about curiosity and motivation. You've talked about that on Offbeat, and then we'll end with a few. I don't know if tips is the word, but perhaps some, like general advice that we can give both L&D professionals and learners to have, you know, a successful self directed program. So that's a bit the gist of it. We're super excited about it. But perhaps we can start with a bit of like, the definition of what self directed learning even is. Can you walk us through that?

Lavinia Mehedintu  11:06  
Yeah, definitely, I have to say that I've been lucky enough, about nine years ago, when I was young. I was part of an alternative University here in Romania. And I think that was the place where I learned more about self directed learning, right, because I'm not sure how the education systems in your countries are hearing Romania is far from nurturing. So self directed learning. And being a part of a system that does things differently, I think, nurtured my curiosity about the topic as well. And I don't know the exact definition, but everyone who wants to look look for it, they can search for Malcolm Knowles. He was the one that actually like put it together, although he's not the, like the father of self directed learning. Actually, the term dates back to I think that 1920s, which was amazing for me to know. But yeah, in the 60s, a Malcolm Knowles, like, put together a definition, and it's all about how we, as people take care take. You know, we are the owners of our learning journey. And we do that by setting goals. By choosing very intentionally the learning resources and learning strategies we use. We put everything in practice. And then we also look at how we can measure if whatever we wanted to learn. Yeah, we learned or not. So this is like the broad definition, but for a very scientific one, you can definitely look for market notes.

Simon Kennell  12:53  
And so this is I think it's super fascinating right now, because we talk about like, the L&D bubble and, and kind of how that works. And and I just feel like they're obviously in L&D there are these trends, right. And, you know, we've we've seen this so much for top down, you know, directed learning of, you know, providing elearning, providing resources to employees, and this kind of more top down approach. And then, you know, we switch a little bit more to pushing for learner autonomy, pushing for, you know, provide, like providing the resources and saying, Hey, it's your responsibility, right to, to take this to your employees and say, it's up to you to take this learning journey, because we're using this adult learning theory and the self directed learning theory, say, people know how they learn best, and we just have to give them the resources, and then they'll go, right, and this is this kind of idea that's out there. But, you know, for me, at least, I think that, you know, that's all fine and well, to just provide the resources and then just assume that people know how they're going to learn. But I mean, do you agree with that idea, that concept that, you know, oh, yeah, they're self directed. We just need to let them go. And they'll direct themselves. I mean, is that really, you know, the way we should approach this?

Lavinia Mehedintu  14:15  
I would say, it's not just an idea, but it's an ideal. To be honest, no, I don't think so. And again, I have no like, research to back me up. But if you look at how we are taught to learn is so far so so far from how, you know, in what self directed learning is because in school we are, you know, always listening to a teacher and the teacher is the one that knows it all. It's not so much an environment unfortunately that nurtures curiosity or that look For the individual self in each person and tries to nurture dad or an even nurture self awareness, I think now maybe I'm already too old to know that, well, the educational system, I think, initiatives are starting to pop up in every country, which is great, to be honest. But I think if we're looking at this generation, and like the, I think there are four or five generations in the workplace right now, I don't think any of them got had access to a system when they were young, were self directed learning behaviors, knowledge and skills would be nurtured. So we end up in the workplace with the, you know, students of the time where this didn't happen. And truth be told, No, I don't think people are the majority of people I don't want to generalize. And I don't think the majority of people have again, those skills, behaviors and attitudes of self directed learners. And as L&Ds, we definitely have a responsibility for for the organization and for the individual to, to nurture that. 

Paola Pascual  16:20  
And what are those skills that make a human being, you know, able to, to learn on their own to take responsibility and ownership for their learning? Yeah, what are those traits or skills or characteristics?

Lavinia Mehedintu  16:38  
Yeah, so it's, it's, this episode had a really good timing, because in in our community, we have a project. And we're researching all about how we can nurture self directed learning. And the first step was trying to figure it out the profile of a self directed learner, and we came up like the three categories are skills, behaviors and attitudes. And to be honest, I would start with attitudes, because I do think like, that's one of the hardest parts to influence as, as an L&D professional and whatever, as a people ops team. And you mentioned, first curiosity, I think that's probably one of the biggest attitudes you need to have. And apart from that, there are a few others even resilience, if you think about it, because the learning journey is not easy. If it's easy, something might be wrong. So it can be really, really hard. And the question is, do you have the power in yourself to go past those bumps that are gonna come in your in your learning journey. Another thing that we've discovered is discipline, like just showing up consistently, putting the time in, even when it feels like you don't have that time available. So these are, let's say, the three key attitudes I would mention. And then I feel that skills and behaviors are very much connected. And think about it. As, you know, skills, you need to know how to write a good, self directed learning goal, like a learning goal, actually don't even mention self directed, you need to know how to do that you need to know how to the resources that you have available and look for them. You need to know different learning methods, that's also very important. And in the end, you even need to know how to measure if you learned or not, which is not a very, very common skill. And then when it comes to behaviors, you need to do all that. Right? You need to actually take the time to, you know, reflect on who you are, and where you want to get. And I'm not saying in five years, I'm even saying like in the next year, what do I want to do with my career, and just put everything on paper. Also, I skip that, but I think that's probably one of the most important skill to have, which is self awareness. Like knowing who you are as an individual and what you need from yourself from your, from your environment from everyone else that surrounds you. I think that's a pillar of self directed learning.

Paola Pascual  19:40  
I love that and I really, really liked what you mentioned, when you were talking about skills, being able to write your goals are to define your goals. I feel the way most of us learned was by Oh my goal is to complete this course. But what kind of goal is that right like My goal is to finish a book. Yes. And then where are you going to do with it? Right? Like I, it's a little and big at the same time mind shift where you just like, Okay, what is exactly that you want to get out of this learning journey?

Simon Kennell  20:16  

Lavinia Mehedintu  20:19  
Sorry, sorry, I just wanted to point out again to Malcolm Knowles, because he has, like, very clear structures of how learning goals should should be written. Sorry, sorry.

Simon Kennell  20:32  
No, no, no, this is just, it's, I love how you're breaking it down into these these three sections. And my immediate question, my first thought is, okay, where does the responsibility of the learner come in? And where does the responsibility of the organization come in? And how to assist in these in these in like, in this journey, right. So if I think about it from, you know, an organizational people upside, you know, how are we identifying those specific, you know, behavioral skills and mindset during the recruitment process to, you know, create a kind of a higher learning quality candidate, I guess, I would say, right. But then when we get to the point of, you know, facilitating this, of the writing the goals, the learning methods, the measurement, I mean, all of this sounds like, you know, a great way to like, sit down and think about OKRs and KPIs and and how are we even approaching that with individual, you know, with individual employees right to do, if we, if we could create a scenario where, where we teach employees how to write a good learning goal, right, and to discuss learning methods and measurement, you know, that might be a way for the organization to assist in that right to, like, provide the building blocks for that. I mean, I think it's like, all the skills that you were talking about, you know, curiosity, resilience, discipline, self awareness, these are all like, you know, obvious ones that we want to see in the recruitment process. But what do you think? What do you think the organization can do to kind of assist, you know, maybe in identifying yourselves, but assist in this learning journey?

Lavinia Mehedintu  22:18  
I think so. I just think we did something good, which is providing the resources like I mean, most of the organizations out there did some content into people. So that's something we can take a home. There's a lot of focus on that. But then, looking at the, you know, initial stages of the process, like you mentioned, do I have the space to reflect about these things to, to become more self aware? Do I have the tools to become more self aware? Is my manager pushing me to become more self aware? And is he or she self aware? You know, so I think reflection, having the time for reflection, self reflection is probably one of the most important yet hardest things to offer, as an organization, because I do feel like, at least in the past couple of years, there's this, I don't know, everyone is running. That's the feeling Everyone is running, nobody's sitting still for a minute to think about whatever they want to think about. So offering that I think it's very, very important. And then, you know, even just like you said, how they have an individual development plan, because I know that's a tool that that people start are starting to use and implement. But again, do I have the support to fill it in? Do I then I, okay, I have the resources and say, Do I have the space to practice? What I set for myself? That's also very important. And, again, as an L&D, I think there would be one thing that I would do is to assess what I have right now. And which of the you know, if you look at the employee lifecycle, let's say that's a good framework to to have. If I look throughout it, there, am I already nurturing the skills, behaviors, attitudes, and where am I nurturing, skills, behaviors and attitudes that contradict self directed learning? And I can give you a very specific example, which is forcing people to join different learning programs and trainings and workshops and whatever. That's by default. I know it's a hard one to swallow and everyone is doing that, but that by default, doesn't nurture. It's not you're taking away the ownership from the individual. And you're saying, I know best what's good for you? Which it's not always the case. And I'm gonna finish with with a thought that's very related to what you said. And is that, you know, do I do we offer the visibility over? Where are we heading as a company? Where like, what's our mission? What are our OKRs or goals or whatever people work with? Because if we do offer that visibility, then, you know, it will be easy for people to connect. Okay, this is my role. This is where we're heading. And now I can think of how I can help. If I don't have that transparency, it's gonna be very hard for people to have something to look up to. Yeah.

Simon Kennell  26:01  
And that's, I mean, when you talk about how do you create agile organizations, right, you know, having a Northstar is one of the biggest things, right, because we're going through so many iterations, if we're learning consistently, we still need to have that Northstar of thinking about, Okay, we have all these changes, we're testing, we're doing all this, but we know, eventually, we want to get to x. Right. And I think that I think that's such a great point. And then as well, you know, the point that you made around, you know, just creating space, do we have space to practice, you know, like, we're big Andrew Huberman fans here. So you know, he talks about that, it's like, it's like, as a must, it's, you're going to have, you're going to need to have a 15% kind of set aside for failure to be able to learn effectively, like, that's just like, at a starting point, you need to think, okay, 15%, of whatever that is, like, there's going to be failure, and you have to be okay with that. Right? And that's a that's a great point. It's like, are you creating these borders, you know, where you can have this kind of play box to train and to practice and, and to allow these learners to have autonomy in that area. Right, and to explore. And I think that's a, like you said, it's, it's a hard pill to swallow. But, you know, providing your employees with this freedom is, is critical to their own learning, right. And it's like, it goes totally opposite to adult learning theory to take away their ownership in the learning process, right? It's like the exact opposite of what you want to do. So I think, yeah, you're, you're preaching to the choir, it's like an amazing, an amazing way you broke that down, definitely, definitely.

Paola Pascual  27:38  
And create that sense of like, true psychological safety where people can, you know, they feel safe, asking for time to learn, and make mistakes and have that time to practice. There was this HBR article from a couple of years ago that said, and I wrote it down, because I found it fascinating. It says 83% of executives say their organizations encourage, encourage curiosity, but only 52% of their employees agree. So there is a little mismatch between what the organization thinks they're providing and what the employees actually perceive. So just being a little bit more critical of okay, what is actually the situation living in I also read one of your the one the issue, the offbeat issue that you were you talked about driving learning autonomy. And I saw how you created this cashflow loop diagram, which is like a network of factors that influence learner, you know, learners autonomy, I thought that was brilliant. And this cashew loop diagram that you created had one of the factors that influence learning autonomy was time, and it's what you were just mentioning before. And one little change that we've seen works really, really well for our students. And, you know, the organizations that we work with is to actually not only allow but encourage employees to learn during working hours, because sometimes, we've been working very long hours. And it's not only that you just don't want to keep learning, it's just your brain is not ready for it. And I don't know what you think Lavinia, but that's something that, you know, it's a it's a small change, but it's a very, very impactful one.

Lavinia Mehedintu  29:22  
I think that we always learn in our jobs, and think the same flipside is that we don't always think about what we learn in our jobs. So I think, again, a skill that I kept repeating is reflection. If you think about the Okay maybe not the past week, you know, maybe you don't learn something new every day that and that's fine, to be honest. But if you think about the past quarter and or past half of the yours? Is there something that you learned in your job? And I, I hope I'm not like living in a bubble for something. But for myself, I feel that I've been learning something new in my previous job as well. Like, there was always something new to, to learn. And what, you know, we had, we had a podcast episode with someone that said that there are lessons learned and lessons integrated, and the lessons or, or something like that. So, okay, you learned something, but are you applying it? And I think, in the middle, there's reflection, that, you know, nurtures whatever you're learning and making sure that you're aware of it, and that you're, you're applying it. So I just think there's so your question, the thing we're always learning in our in our jobs, and what we need is a bit more time for reflection.

Simon Kennell  31:05  
I love that. That's so like, you talked about that space in between, and that's so critical, like, are we even asking ourselves and each other? That question, it's like, we do this off site thing, you know, or we do this training, or whatever. And then it's like, yeah, we checked the box. And we learned, right, quote, unquote, we learned it's like, okay, but are we applying it right? And in that, in that space of thinking about how are we applying it, you have to ask yourself some really tough questions. And some really kind of like, ego shattering questions of like, I thought I was lifting these big, heavy weights of, you know, learning, and I'm so strong with my learning. But, you know, let's maybe lower the weight a little bit and lower the consequence. Because how much am I actually push? Like, how much am I actually applying? Right, which is the whole point of this. And I like I came to that, like brutal realization, I think it was like a year or two ago, I was like, reading all these books. And I've thought, like, wow, look at all look at all of the number of books that I've read, like, how smart and how, like, much learning has been done. Right? And I think this is the kind of craziness that a lot of companies do a lot of organizations do is how are we measuring this right? And when I actually sat down, and asked myself the honest question of, okay, what makes a difference? The number of books, right? The number of courses, the number of whatever? Or are, am I being honest with myself and how this is being applied? Right. And when I took that view of like, thinking about how it was applied, I was reading far fewer number of books, right, but it was much more kind of, you know, sustainable, and I was putting it in. I don't know if like, if that kind of analogy makes sense. But I feel like a lot of companies take that approach, right?

Lavinia Mehedintu  32:56  
Yeah, it's like measuring the number of courses or elearning, or whatever people are, are doing, which, again, if you look up all the theory, and all the frameworks, learning measurement frameworks that are out there, it's definitely that like, first layer, but it doesn't the first layer usually doesn't tell you anything. So you need to dig a bit deeper. And yeah, I know, this is a whole other song, which is very, very complex and complicated. But yeah, I do I tend to agree with with what you're saying, yeah.

Paola Pascual  33:31  
And so going back to one of the things that you do set today was like you, as organizations would shouldn't be forcing people to join a specific program or like to shove them all these, like, learning initiatives into their, into their days. So if that's the case, how, like, is it even possible to implement a self directed learning program in an organization? And if so, like, what are some things we should take into account to make sure it's successful?

Lavinia Mehedintu  34:05  
Well, I do think some things will always be you have to do this, you know, there are all the legal stuff and compliance stuff that you need to do. Okay, that's fine. But I'm talking about the rest of it, which for some are the majority of learning programs and learning resources that have that are in their organization. And I think, right now I'm trying, I work well learning frameworks, and I think there, there's a triangle and there are three things that need to happen in an organization. And I'm just summarizing what I already said. The first thing is to communicate very, very specifically, where you're heading, how you're gonna go there. And you know, have They have this clarity about mission, vision, purpose, strategy, goal and so on and offer it to everyone not give it for yourself ideally. The second thing is offering the leader the resources and the space for people to to learn. And the top of the pie is nurturing self awareness. Because if you think about it, for me, it's, you know, it sounds so simple right now, if I know where the system where I'm in, is heading, and I know who I am, and how I can help and what are the gaps that I have. It's just a matter of bridging that gap and to bridge the gap of how I can help I take in the resources that I have available, but it's my choice, what resources I'm going to test even because I might not know what works for me, but having a variety, and that's another thing, have variety in what you're offering. Because elearning is not for everyone. And that's the truth. And we have to be honest with it, but maybe having mentors or having coaches or having whatever it might be good for, for your people. And you don't need big budgets to do that, in my opinion. That's true.

Simon Kennell  36:25  
Yeah, something we actually talk about with Talaera. Right is like, you know, we try to create an ecosystem, like of learning like a mixture, right? of resources of options, right? Whether it be one on one learning with like your personal trainer, coach, whether it be in a group, because you like being in a social group together, when you learn, right? Whether it be just providing resources, like podcasts or articles, or what have you, like creating that richness right, in a in an organization of what you're offering. I feel like yeah, is huge, but then the other part of that is making sure that people know that that's there, right. And that goes into a whole other part of like, the marketing side and all of that, that you have to make sure that people know that they can go and get the the resources when they need it. All right, so so the the last point we wanted to talk about power is really like the learners themselves, right? And the individuals. And if I am in a company, and I, I want to take this, you know, this agency, I want to be a self directed learner, I want to kind of make my way, what are the things that I can do that I can start doing, you know, myself as an individual,

Lavinia Mehedintu  37:39  
Ask around! I think that that's my most favorite thing and something that I did, and I've seen others doing actively, just go out there and try to learn even how the organization works. Because the truth is, you might be in an organization that, that it's not that it's not transparent, it's just that they don't actively communicate all the things that we already mentioned. But you can go and poke the bear, right? You can go and ask questions. And you can have even as an L&D Professional because I work so much with L&D, so I can relate, you can just go to the finance team, and ask them some honest questions, you can go to the, you know, your commercial team, if you have one, your product, your whatever, I think that's just a first behavior you can have to further on, nurture your curiosity. And you're gonna keep having all kinds of questions based on what you're already learning. So I think that's something that you can do. The other thing is, you know, having people around you that are driven, and that want to learn, I think that's also because we are social beings. And we tend to imitate the behaviors we see around us. So if we want to become more, you know, reflective or we want to spend more time learning, we do need to see that behavior more often. You know, with with our peers, so, have those people with us. And just the third one and I'm going to stop here, just sit, just sit still. Like take a deep breath, and just put on paper, whatever comes to your mind. And, you know, I started journaling a couple of months ago, and I was at first I was trying like to have structure and everything. And then I said, No, I'm just gonna write whatever comes to my mind and the insights will come just trust the process, but just sit still.

Paola Pascual  39:58  
Trust the process. I love And sitting still so hard these days, but so important, I would just add a little something you mentioned at the beginning that the learning journey is not easy. And if it is, then something's wrong. And I agree, like, that's something you have to accept and be honest with yourself and say, Okay, this is gonna take time and learning doesn't happen overnight. So just being really honest with yourself, and, and just using your words, trusting the process. But then that has to be combined, always, in my opinion, is that has to be combined with you enjoying the process it, there has to be fun, and it has to be something enjoyable, because otherwise it's not sustainable. Was like working out, right? Working out is hard, it's painful, and then you have sore muscles. But you do really need to enjoy that session, because otherwise then just just gonna drop it. So yeah, finding that little balance between it is uncomfortable being okay with being uncomfortable, but also like, truly enjoying that process.

Lavinia Mehedintu  41:02  
Yeah, I just think as a society, we've, we've been taught to look for the goal, like always look at the goal and try and get there. But the truth is that without a good process, we yeah, we want to do it. So I completely agree with you very, very good point, even for me.

Paola Pascual  41:22  
Yeah. And also like something we forget, and you're totally right. Like we're taught to think about the goal, but we are, we are our habits. We are what we do every day. So it's not binge watching or binge learning something that's not going to make you who you want to be it's the day to day right habits that actually make you who you are. So just trusting that that process that takes time. So yeah, this was this was such an interesting conversation, Lavinia, we are so grateful that you took the time to talk to us we could spend hours talking about learning and development, I think all three of us, but I think this was already such a an insightful episode. And yeah, thank you so, so much.

Lavinia Mehedintu  42:08  
Thank you so much for having me. It's honestly always a pleasure to just again, first sit and even think about because as you prepare, you know, for having these conversations, you do have to sit and think about what you're going to say. And also, you know, talking to you both it's it's our second time and it was very pleasing. Thank you for having me.

Simon Kennell  42:34  
And so Lavinia, if people are curious, about offbeat, where can they find you? Where can they find offbeat, you have communities, you have so many things going on? Where can they look for that?

Lavinia Mehedintu  42:46  
So, first, I'm very active on LinkedIn. So if you look for my name on LinkedIn, you're gonna find me there with a colorful picture. That's me. And second, our website off, that works. It's like the best place to go and read a bit more about off bid. There are dozens of free resources out there. There's our newsletter, a podcast, everything, our publication there, and also the paid products that that we have, you can explore those as well on our website.

Simon Kennell  43:20  
Awesome. Thank you so much. And yeah, if you're listening at a bare minimum, you need to subscribe to the offbeat newsletter. It is like my favorite Sunday reading. I like read it while I'm watching football on Sundays. And it's just like, it's just, it's just my happy time, right? It's just the thing I like to do. So again, Lavinia, thank you so much for taking the time. We love talking all things learning. And today has been like I said, a real treat. And Paola, thanks, as well as always, and to all of you out there listening, as always, keep learning.

Paola Pascual  43:58  
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it. And remember to subscribe to Talaera talks. We'll be back soon with more.

Simon Kennell  44:06  
And visit our website at Talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!