Accelerated Learning Model

We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination

– David Lynch

What is Accelerated Learning?

Simply put… it’s the way we learn when we don’t know any better!  We have all been “accelerated learners” in our lifetime.   Children learn to speak without textbooks and grammar – sometimes 2 or 3 languages at once. They learn to walk – they sometimes run before they walk, not thinking they ‘should’ do things in logical order. They learn to fearlessly get from here to there, to get what they want. They learn through play and through trial and error. The only thing is… they don’t know what error means.  It just means “it didn’t work this time”… “I guess I have to do it again”.

Within a few years, experience “teaches us” our limits, our fears, our can’ts, our “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”.  We are introduced to the stigma of failure and the labelling of people as smart or not.  The challenges of life are nothing compared to the blocks in our own minds, to the joyous, natural, exploratory, accelerated learning of childhood.

The Manager’s Corner wants to focus your attention on ways to recapture the joys and possibilities of accelerated learning.


Barriers to Learning

Assumptions and Beliefs

Presuppositions … those assumptions which predate and sometimes preclude our actions… the limiting thoughts on which a line of thinking or action is based… are the main barriers to learning, acting and progress. And they exist… in our own minds.

Our assumptions about learning are some of the most powerful influences on our ability to improve our skills or change our behaviours.

Similarly, the presupposition that ‘old dogs can’t learn new tricks’ leads to the limiting belief that there are only certain times in our lives when we are ‘able’ to learn skills such as language, computers, or how to facilitate a meeting.  The neuroscience is proving otherwise.  But if we hold onto this commonly-held belief, we will probably shy away from trying new things.

Take this into our role as a manager…how does it affect the way we look at the people who report to us?   Do we believe in their ability to learn?  Do we allow them to try new things…and possibly ‘fail’?  Are we able to visualize them as capable of improvement?

Add the fear that is ingrained in such thinking, and you have personal or career inertia.

There is, happily, another side to the fountain of inherited old coins. . .that is, presuppositions that are more useful and lend to success and a vast array of possibilities for learning and solutions:

  • Failure is feedback and thus the impetus to be flexible to do something else
  • Problems are opportunities
  • Behaviour is changeable, and separate from the person themselves

To become aware and conscious of your presuppositions and willing to trade them for those that are more useful for your success, will accelerate the speed at which you learn.

And, in your role as manager, you will be promoting the belief that change is possible, and as you give yourself permission to evolve… so you will be supporting the confidence of your staff in their own evolution.


Whether you believe you can or you cannot, you are right.

– Henry Ford

 The ‘No Regret’ check

Sometimes, we resist learning or evolving our behaviour because we fear – consciously or unconsciously – that we will lose a part of our ‘selves’…a pattern of thought…a behaviour that has defined us or been, in our minds, useful till now;

A major change may also impact another area of our life, or another person.  Or perhaps our changes are a threat to others and may be undermined (or so we fear) by co-workers, friends or family.

We suggest a ‘no regret’ check, a way to assess that a change we have chosen to pursue would be in harmony with the rest of our life and relationships…and does no harm to ourselves or another.