Research indicates that we retain only 10% of what we hear; 20% of what we see; 65% of what we hear and see; but 90% of what we hear, see, and do.
Every day at work we demonstrate Hear-See-Do when we use a combination of our knowledge, wisdom and skill to perform a task or plan what we will do at a later date. This combination of intellect, insight and ability is called experience.
One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s not what you know that counts; it’s what you do with what you know that counts. ” In other words, knowledge by itself is useless and unproductive. It’s only when we act on the data, facts and information and apply them in a particular situation or circumstance that we in fact gain experience.
Here are a few simple yet profound truths about experience:
- We learn from our experiences. If they are positive, we tend to repeat them again and again until we become proficient and our skill levels increase. If they are negative, we file them away in the back of our minds as cautions or red flags to be recalled when a potentially dangerous situation threatens.
- To experience is to be actively involved. An experience is gained when we wholeheartedly become engaged in an activity or are constantly involved with people over a period of time.
- Experiences are dynamic. It’s really up to us to take charge of our experiences and not let them just happen to us.
- We are shaped by our experiences. They are the sum total of things we have done, had done to us as well as our past thoughts and feelings.
- We impact others through our experiences. When we demonstrate an increased ability to work collaboratively with others, their experience levels increase also.
- Experiences are the foundation of success. Success results when we apply the invaluable lessons we learn from our experiences and move forward. Failure happens when we allow our experiences to stop us or hold us back.
What About You?
Your work related experience is an integral part of who you are, and consists of every job or assignment you have ever had. Over the next week, take a small career break—a time-out to reconsider, reflect and focus on your career direction.
You determine how much time your break will be. Timing is not as important as actually taking the break itself. Here are a few thoughts to get you started:
- Reflect on the last time you took a good look at your work experience.
- Identify 3 things you could do differently on your job to positively impact your career.
- Develop a plan to overcome the obstacles that are holding you back at work.
Althea DeBrule, entrepreneur and seasoned human resources executive, has focused for more than 30 years on helping people achieve their career goals. Creator of The Extreme-Career-Makeover™ and a founding partner of RADSGroup Organizational Consultants, she is recognized for her bottom line and practical application of career development and management strategies in a way that penetrates hearts and compels action. She speaks and teaches with inspired talent, humor and contagious zeal at management conferences and leadership retreats nationwide, and has been featured in CFO Magazine, Strategy@Work , Human Resource Executive Magazine. Althea is the author of Bosses & Orchards, a compelling and candid book about how to make your work relationship with your boss succeed. To discover how you can take your career to a new level, visit http://www.extreme-career-makeover.com/ .