7 Habits for Highly Effective Digital Coaching

We’ve all been there. The initial excitement around signing up for an online course starts to taper as what began as a promising learning experience turns into information overload. No matter how interesting, relevant and sticky your learning content is, if the person on the receiving end is passively downloading information rather than actively engaged with it, the program’s objectives are likely to fail.

So what habits can a learner cultivate to ensure they’re engaged, inquisitive, and open to learning? How can they get the very best out of a digital coaching experience? Here are seven habits we’ve found to be especially useful.

1. Map your learning goals and objectives. Why are you doing this program? What bigger life or career goals does it tie in to? If you can’t see the greater purpose behind your action, your motivation will likely dwindle and the desire and momentum for learning will be lost. Keep a vision of your ultimate goal front of mind, or find a picture that reminds you of it and place it somewhere close. And if you tend to set more goals than you actually end up meeting, consider adopting the SMART criteria for goal setting.

2. Identify the time and place where you learn best. For some, it’s the first hour of the day, before other responsibilities start vying for your attention. Perhaps you prefer to escape your regular work environment and fire up your laptop at a coffee shop. Or your cell phone at a park. At Cognician, our usage stats for login times are all over the clock. And it goes to show that when learners have the choice, they do their learning at a time that suits them best. What’s worked for you in the past? Where have you done your best learning? Create an environment that inspires you to learn – that’s the beauty of online learning. And whatever you commit to, schedule a recurring appointment in your calendar, and honor it!

3. Get social. Share insights. The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today defines social learning as collaborative, immediate, relevant, and presented in the context of an individual’s unique work environment. Social learning accelerates knowledge-sharing and problem-solving across an organization. It helps to build teams and disperse new ideas. Cognician’s digital coaching platform enables learners to share ‘aha’ moments with their group, and to like and comment on other insights. “Sharing insights encourages dialogue between teams, building a culture of openness, trust and a sense of shared responsibility to overcome everyday challenges,” says Cognician COO Victoria Grulke.

4. Be prepared to banish outdated mental models and adopt new ones. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein knew it, and it’s what drives Cognician to design high-impact learning programs around powerful concepts. The learner can build on the frameworks they already know and use, and learn to recognize the ones that are no longer adding value. For more on how mental models can be used to enhance your learning, read To Drive Peak Performance, Shift Mental Models.

5. Apply what you’ve learned in the real world. Put new habits into practise and test them out at work and at home. Cognician’s cogs prompt learners to commit to specific tasks, upcoming events, or even important conversations, where their self-realizations can be converted into measurable action. And don’t worry, we’ll check in with you on the next cog, just to make sure you’ve followed through!

6. Know how far you’ve come. And how far you’ve got to go. Continuous learning is a journey, so take the time to enjoy it. Monitor the available analytics: What changes have you noticed? How does this connect with your greater purpose?. If you’re using the Cognician platform, you can view real-time updates on your dashboard to help monitor your progress. Check in with your peers too – remember point 3.

7. Be gritty. In Angela Lee Duckworth’s thought-provoking TED Talk on Grit: The power of passion and perseverance, she asserts that it’s grit, not talent, that determines whether a person will be successful in learning – and in life in general. So what does true grit look like? “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” says Duckworth.

Why not take a gritty approach to your next online learning program, with a clear view of the long-term outcomes. Your future self will thank you.

Find out how Cognician can help you to create a culture of engaged learning in your workplace. Request a demo, we’d love to hear from you!