The business world is changing rapidly, and chances are, so is your industry. To keep up and stay relevant, you need to change and evolve with those changes. In addition to following the latest trends and keeping up to date on what’s happening in your area of expertise, it’s highly likely that at some point, you’ll need to master new skills and acquire new knowledge. This includes learning how to use the latest software and hardware, educating yourself on novel marketing practices, and doing continuous research on how to answer the ever-changing demands of your customers.
Just think about a successful entrepreneur you look up to. They don’t have to be Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or Jack Ma – they can be anyone, leading a company big or small.
More likely than not, your role model entrepreneur is consistently working on self-improvement by reading about any topic that’s of interest, learning a second (or third, or fourth) language, or perfecting a skill. Any action that’s exposing them to knowledge is likely to be benefiting their business.
How Learning Influences Us
Extensive research continues to be done on the way learning affects our brain. What we know is that the brain is an adaptive organ. Its capacity to evolve with each new piece of knowledge we acquire is called plasticity – and this ability never stops. This means that you can learn new things throughout your life, no matter your age. Moreover, it’s been shown that the more we learn, the faster our brain is in transmitting information.
The key to developing your brain well is slow and steady progress. In other words, continuous education.
It’s also been shown that mentally challenging ourselves staves off aging and intellectual deterioration. Whether it’s by picking up a hobby or solving the Saturday crossword puzzle while you sip on your coffee, you’re definitely getting the longevity benefits of exercising your brain.
So, it’s no surprise that you want to make the most of this innate ability to progress, not just for yourself, but for your team as well. Investing in continuous learning is one of the best ways business owners can ensure they have a company filled with sharp employees who are ready to take on any challenge, no matter how difficult.
What you’ll find below are some of the best skills to work on if you want to boost the resourcefulness of your team.
Scientists have long been fascinated by the influence of bilingualism on the brain, and there have been some captivating discoveries regarding the subject. In addition to staving off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, bilingualism also influences the way we process information. One interesting finding was that bilingual individuals were better able to differentiate between important and irrelevant information, which is a skill their mind developed early on in the acquiring process in order to be able to tell languages apart.
Furthermore, different languages have different approaches to concepts such as time and space, which potentially gives learners the ability to look at things from an entirely new perspective.
The benefits of speaking multiple languages has benefits for your business that go without saying. Investing in a language course for you and your employees might be a great idea. Even if you have remote workers, you can encourage their education by giving them access to an online English course that will enable easier communication and allow them to take on more integral roles in the company.
Work on Your Physical Skills
When it comes to self-improvement in the business world, most of us tend to steer towards mental challenges, but working on your physical abilities can have just as many benefits as mastering a language. The positive effects of physical activity are well known, and to ensure your overall health, you should aim to do around 150 minutes of exercise per week.
If you find yourself becoming fatigued as the working week goes by, you may want to consider adding some aerobic workouts, such as running, to your daily regime. As little as 20 to 30 minutes of jogging per day can have a significant impact on improving brain function, especially in terms of memory. If you’re not a fan of running, you may want to try swimming, martial arts, dance, or yoga. Any of these are sure to have a positive impact on your cognitive health.
If you are going to do one single thing in order to allow yourself to grow, that needs to be reading. Not only is it the best possible way to process and learn information, but it’s also a great way to expose yourself to topics you may not have come across before. Plus, it helps reduce stress and develop empathy.
Allow yourself a daily 20-60 minutes (it doesn’t have to be in a single sitting) to do some reading – fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspaper columns— really anything you find of interest. If you absolutely can’t put aside this time, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts – but make sure you’re invested in the content, rather than just allowing it to be background noise.
Other ideas for continuous education include picking up an instrument, working with new software and tech, as well as traveling as a way of widening your horizons. No matter which of these techniques you decide to try, you’ll be on your way to becoming not only a better boss, but a more versatile individual who will have an easier time recognizing great opportunities.