Why It’s Time to Embrace Online Learning
Like many of you, I’m self-isolating at home. As my client work slows down, I’m embracing online learning to sharpen my skills and grow as a professional and person.
As someone who has created a digital product website, I’ve long been a fan of online learning. What could be better than honing your skills from the comfort of your home? Plus, without all the travel costs, and time away from the office, online learning is more cost effective and a better use of our precious time.
So why hasn’t everyone embraced online learning?
One barrier facing online learning has been the credibility of the platform or expert. Many people question the value of what they get online, afraid once they hand over their money, they will be sorely disappointed with the quality of training. Others feel face-to-face learning (corporate training and conferences) are a better way to learn – mainly because this is how they are used to learning.
However, in our online world, it’s not hard to find out more about the expert, trainer or organization that’s offering online training. A simple Google or LinkedIn search will let you see their credentials, read reviews from other clients and find out if they are a good fit for your needs.
Times are changing
With many countries requesting residents self-isolate, a large proportion of the workforce is now either laid off or working from home. While this is admittedly a stressful time, it is also an opportunity to explore a new way of operating.
This morning I was on a webinar hosted by an organization which I have let my membership lapse. The webinar was open to past and present members – for free.
Guess what? Over 850 people were on the webinar. A new record for this organization (with 200 people being a previous high registration record). A second webinar was capped at 600 people (as there were technical issues with the 850+), and had a long waitlist.
I would guess that many of the people on the webinar were like me, people who have had limited connection with the organization but are looking for tools and resources to get through this new reality.
Soft skills rock!
Online learning is well suited to soft skill development. Think about it. In soft skill learning you aren’t required to have any specialized equipment or follow safety precautions. Wearing your bathrobe or yoga pants is perfectly acceptable attire.
I truly believe soft skills are essential skills for all entrepreneurs, professionals, business owners or anyone who interacts with another human being as part of their job. Communications skills such as understanding personality types, knowing your audience, and getting clarity on your message will help you be heard above the noise.
And let’s be clear. There is a lot of noise to compete with right now.
With so many people self-isolating at home, social media has become an even more important part of our daily lives. While some businesses see this additional interest in social media as an opportunity for their business, it’s also a challenge. Why? Because you have even more competition for your audience’s attention than ever before.
So how do you create content that breaks through the noise? By honing your soft skills – through online learning.
Here’s the deal about soft skill development – it helps you in ALL areas of your life.
Think about it. If you understand who the needs, interests and ways to connect to the person you are talking to (instead of focusing on what you want to say), craft your message to make a personal connection, it will benefit all of your relationships – professional and personal.
So here’s my plea to you. Use this time of decreased productivity to learn, grow and explore. Embrace online learning as a powerful way to grow your business, build your resume or heck, just pass some time.
As I gear up to host some webinars for my clients (The Power of Storytelling is very hot right now), I’m excited to be reaching people who normally don’t participate in online learning. This means a new audience and greater reach for the soft skills training I deliver.
I am also excited for the various webinars I have signed up to attend as a participant. This week I’ve learned some new skills for online engagement. Tomorrow I’m tuning in to hear about government support for entrepreneurs. Who knows what I will learn next week?
If you are ready to learn online and grow your soft skills, I’m here to help. Sign up to get blog posts from me or join How to Communications (use code getstarted to save 33%) to have access to over 50 online training videos, templates and resources. It’s time to invest in you!