What can we learn from the "5 Discoveries" of self directed learning?

If we want PD that sticks - it has to be tied to our own individual passion & purpose, but also reinforce or replace deep seated habits.

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Can the "5 Discoveries" help  us reinforce or replace the deep seated habits that allow professional development training to stick?

Richard Boyatzis has written extensively about Self-Directed Learning and the Intentional Change Model and his belief is that for an individual to make lasting change they need to first align PD with the "5 Discoveries"


1. Identify your "Ideal Self" - Who you want to be.
2. Identify your "Real Self" - Who you really are.
            Identify your Strengths - Where your "Ideal" and "Real" selves are similar.
            Identify your Gaps - Where your "Ideal" and "Real" selves are different.
3. Identify a learning agenda - How to address gaps and reinforce strengths.
4. Experimentation - Discovering new thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
5. Mastery - Building and reinforcing new neural pathways through practice.


What might we learn from this concept in applying it to PD that sticks!!!!

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Photo of Elsa

Hi Chris,

Love your idea! From my own experience, I have noticed that the deepest, most engaging and long lasting forms of learning in my life have come from tying what I am learning to things that are meaningful and relevant to my individual experience and sense of purpose.

Have you tried applying the "5 Discoveries" model to your own learning and growth ? If so, I'd love to hear your reflections and insights from the experience.

Photo of Chris

Thanks Elsa, I've not implemented this yet, but I totally plan on it. I actually only stumbled across this yesterday when reading a book on a totally unrelated subject - funny how life works that way!

Photo of Elsa

That's awesome, love the serendipitous nuggets! I was just reading an essay about structured serendipity and how creativity can be enhanced deliberately through environmental variation. The author suggests two techniques to engineer more aha moments in one's life by "varying what you learn and varying where you learn it." So while he is a journalist covering personal finance for the Wall Street Journal, he makes a point of reading scientific papers in fields he knows nothing about each week, noting: "New associations often leap out of the air at me this way. More intriguing, others seem to form covertly and lie in wait for the opportune moment when they can click into place."

Excited to see where you'll take this idea!

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