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What Are You Learning?
May 7, 2010
Written By: Russell Jensen

You can’t tell by looking at me, but I’m trying to huff and puff at the YMCA several mornings a week. One of the side benefits of that routine has been getting to know Scott, a wise old gentleman who also works out there. Our conversations are usually about church and volunteer work, but recently when I greeted him with “good morning” he stopped me dead in my tracks. “What are you learning?” What am I learning? I had an immediate negative reaction to the question. All I wanted to do was get my workout over with and get to work.

Scott gave me all the time I needed to think before I answered. (Another lesson.) I knew I couldn’t get away with a fast, flip comment and escape to the evil elliptical machine. What am I learning? In hindsight that awkward thirty seconds of thinking might have been the best part of my week. We had an interesting and enjoyable conversation and I went on my way. But I haven’t stopped thinking about his question since. 
So several days later, here is my answer. In recent weeks I’ve been learning …
  • about taking risks, from one client who is good at it and one who is not.
  • about holding people accountable, and about how to do a better job of helping clients learn to more effectively hold people accountable. And about how I need to press the issue more firmly.
  • from one of my colleagues about continually improving what we do.
  • about the importance of staying in closer touch with our clients.
  • about strength and courage from two people I’ve known a long time.
So what are you learning? It's okay, take a minute, I can wait. You can let me know at jensen@rjensenconsulting.com.

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