Attracting and Keeping Your Master Learners Coming Back

Written by Carolyn B. Thompson on May 7, 2019

(a Two-Part Series on Master Learners)

How do you know people (staff and members) are Master Learners? In order to get them to come to you for their education needs, and to come back for more, you have to know the attributes of a Master Learner. In Part One of this two-part series on Master Learners you saw that they have high self-efficacy, get their own resources, set and work toward goals and know how to communicate their learning needs.

But how do you recognize those attributes quickly in people, including people you have very little contact with?

  • You join the webinar as the host and MaryJo is already in the platform and has downloaded the slide deck and posted several questions in the Chat
  • Before the go live date of the asynchronous learning Jim has emailed multiple times asking specific questions about the content (where it came from, can he contact that person, will there be references to get more content) and the learning methods (will there be chat or group work with others in the learning, will they be applying the content to real work,
  • You come into the conference session and …,
  • After the learning Roger asks the facilitator many questions and/or gets the facilitator’s contact info for future needs
  • The person’s eval (whatever method you use you may not know their name but you’ll know it came from a Master Learner) is very detailed about what was useful, what was missing, etc (only relating to content and learning methods – the room, the facilitator, the food are virtually unnoticeable to the person)

Ah, now you know some of your members and staff are Master Learners. In Part One of this two-part series on Master Learners you got ideas for ways to help people learn to be Master Learners. If you implement those ideas you’ll surely have even more Master Learners. Are you ready to handle their needs? Be sure you’ve invested energy into making your association education attractive to Master Learners.

I know, you’re thinking, “Wow, we’re working on making our learning and development content rich with learning methods that make it easy to learn, retain and use on the job but we’re so not there yet!” Interestingly, Master Learners, being people who go after the learning and get it no matter what, can learn in the environments we’ve all been told are hard to learn in like dead, dry boring lectures (educator behind a podium so no movement, no stories, no laughter, no application work to the learners’ situations, no case studies, etc) or not enough time to learn or page-turner e-leaning. They want the content and they know how to get it out of the brain from a credible facilitator or e-learning even if the learning environment isn’t the greatest. We’re not advocating these kinds of learning environments but the gap between application type learning events, in bright rooms, with interactive facilitator or elearning and the less than optimal way isn’t bridged in a single second.

So, while you’re working on a more optimal learning environment you can get Master Learners to show up by giving specific information on the content and the expert themselves. Include the facilitator or elearning content provider’s name, details from their bio and background in your marketing efforts and your Master Learners will see the value.

At the end of the day, we can look back at a time before the “self’s”: self-assessing, self-efficacy, self-monitoring, and self-rewarding, and we see that these people were simply called curious. It is that ongoing curiosity we want to foster to help the workforce sustainably develop itself, because changes will continue to arrive at an increasing pace. Help your organization’s staff and members continue to be able to do their job by increasing the prevalence of Master Learners in your midst.