Why Learners Matter


What Is the LEARNER Theme

Learners love to learn.  Yes.  But, there is more to it than that.  They seem to be following an invisible thread.  Learners are the people in our lives who are always digging into something new, researching an idea or topic, and gathering information from anywhere they can.  They find tremendous value and pleasure in traveling from ignorance to deeper levels of awareness.  Experiencing the world as it opens around a new subject is a near-sacred pursuit for them.  However, not just any old subject; for learners, there needs to be a spark of natural interest.  They are not people who are “happy to learn anything”.  No, they must be drawn in, and the newer the knowledge is, the better.  Even if it seems like their interests pull them in ten directions, their thirst is intuitively guided and they are very much at home in it.

Why Should We Care

Learners are actively engaged in life and they teach us how see the world with hunger and interest.  They see layers and depth where the rest of the world may see only the surface.  Learners remind us that life is a precious opportunity to grow and to do something substantial.  They are the ones who dive in, as they are not easily threatened by newness.  In the workplace and in our communities, they are positive disruptors and changemakers.  They naturally shake things up, asking us to dig deeper, rise up, and ask questions.

Ten Things to Know About People with LEARNER

1.  Rabbit Holes. The internet might very well be the universe’s personal gift to learners, who are prone to ‘following their nose’ down rabbit holes of ideas.  This experience can be euphoric for them.

2.  Studenting. If learners could be full-time college students forever, they would.  So, don’t be surprised if they treat life itself like a type of classroom—taking notes, seeking feedback, asking lots of questions, studying, digging deeper, and even citing sources in casual conversation.

3.  Hummingbirds. Learners can be a lot like hummingbirds deeply investigating one subject and then quickly moving on to the next one.  While this may seem random, there is usually a meaningful connection or reason for the learner as they move from one realm into another.

4.  Preparedness. Regardless of how much they’ve researched and prepped, learners might never feel properly prepared for an event, speech, or presentation.  Don’t be surprised if it seems like they are always preparing, preparing, preparing.

5.  Excellence. Learners are magnetically drawn to experts.  They love to spend time around them, absorbing and asking questions.

6.  Dissatisfied. Because their passion and thirst for deeper and deeper levels of competency and understanding can override their ability appreciate how much they actually do know, learners have a tendency to focus on how much they don’t know.

7.  Rewards.  Often, the process of learning is more akin to exploring and the act itself is a reward for them.  They are likely to be irritated by the question, “So, what are you going to do with that knowledge?”

8.  Motto. When it comes to knowledge, a learner’s motto might be “If a little is good, a lot must be better.”  Again, they are reaching for an ever-expanding level of awareness.

9.  Others. Learners can be viewed as intense, almost reckless in their pursuit of a topic.  What they desire is someone to connect with at a shared level of intensity.  When this need is not being met by anyone in their network learners can feel unseen, misunderstood, and undervalued.

10.  The Holy Moment. Learners may hold to the idea that someday, somehow it will ALL come together and everything they have ever learned will jell into a coherent, intricately interconnected whole.

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Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

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