Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Learner: The Sponge

People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
Clifton StrengthsFinder

People with high learner have a craving to know more. They are constantly looking for more: more information, more skills, more knowledge. Learners are like a sponge; they naturally soak up new information rapidly, often with the keen ability to remember it. The content and passion behind a person’s learning is catered to that individual; some may learn better inside a classroom, others outside, some may like to learn about a subject, while others, a skill or ability. Furthermore, the context of someone else’s learning is often dependent on their other strengths; for example, someone with Context, may love to learn about history, while someone with Relator might love to discover more and more about their closest friends.

Those with Learner do not just love to learn new things, they also love the process of learning. Gallup eloquently writes, “Learners are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence.” Learner is part of the “newness” package, meaning they continually seek and are energized by the new. Learners never really see mastery as something that occurs, because there is always more learning and growing to be done. If a Learner comes to a point of competence in any given subject, they’ve likely already moved on to what they want to know next.

In TeamMates, 9.1% of our mentees and 24.9% of our mentors have Learner in their Top 5 themes. If your mentee is having trouble claiming this talent because it is confined to the definition of school learning, ask them about something new they tried recently or a cool talent they hope to acquire. By reframing their definition of Learner to be inclusive to all learning, they will see this theme isn’t confined to a classroom. To honor the Learner in each other, talk about what you recently have learned. Give insight, stories, or facts from recent articles, classes, or workshops. Share power by having your mentee teach you something new, like a sport or math problem. Try learning together by finding an interest you have in common and exploring new idea about it. Whatever your time may look like, when you are harvesting the natural passion for learning in your mentee, you will be honoring their Learner theme. 


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