Some personal takeaways from the 15 Harappa courses that went live on the Harappa platform in January 2020!

Harappa Education has delivered 15 courses in the last nine months. As we move into a new decade, I wanted to share 15 ideas, one from each of these courses, that have stayed with me. These takeaways, and indeed the entire journey, has put me on the path of becoming a lifelong learner; something I hope all of you will also plan for yourself in the new year and, of course, the new decade. 

Read below to know what is lifelong learning:

1. Establishing Trust: 

Trust is not just about instinct. You can learn to repair, rebuild and recreate trust anywhere, anytime by being open, reliable, credible, and less focused on yourself.

2. Defining Problems: 

Stop. Don’t jump to solve a problem without first examining it from all possible perspectives.

3. Reasoning Logically: 

As Daniel Kahneman points out, you need both System 1 and System 2 Thinking to make sound arguments and good decisions.

4. Speaking Effectively: 

The Rule of Three really works. Always, mention three points, no more, no less, or repeat the same point three times in different ways to emphasize it.

5. Leading Self: 

Deal with your interferences, things that hold you back if you want to live up to your potential or be the very best you can be. This is what will up your performance, not just hard work, talent or luck.

6. Managing Teamwork: 

Feedback is not about observations, criticism or compliments. It’s about course correction, improving productivity, and achieving individual and collective goals.

7. Structuring Problems: 

Break up a problem into smaller parts and then identify who best can solve each part and get to work on it.

8. Listening Actively: 

Listening is not just hearing or responding. Listening is about focus and killing distractions. It's about empathy, respect and being authentic. And it surely puts you on the path to become a lifelong learner.

9. Writing Proficiently: 

Follow the Pyramid Principle when writing at work. Simply, the governing idea comes first, followed by a series of supporting arguments, and then the reasoning behind those arguments using evidence.

10. Learning Expertly: 

Learning is not just about acquiring new knowledge. It’s also about unlearning, or leaving behind what has become outdated, and relearning or trying a different way of doing a certain thing. It can also be called as continuous learning, which is the process of learning new skills on an on-going basis.

11. Embracing Change: 

Get out of your comfort zone now. To grow and succeed, you need to take risks and try new things. You may end up failing but every failure is a teacher.

12. Thinking Critically: 

A good argument is about kosher structures i.e. it must have a clear conclusion and the reasons why you support it. It has to be free of contradictions and must highlight all assumptions.

13. Making Decisions:

Good decisions are not about maintaining the harmony of a group and conforming to what the leader or the collective wants. They are about finding the best solutions.

14. Building Presence: 

Own your personal story and build your brand. If you don’t, someone else will make it up. When you build a presence, it’s hard to shape it with a story you don’t own.

15. Discovering Purpose:  

Your purpose is not one fixed answer that you either know or don’t; it evolves constantly. What your purpose is today may not be the same tomorrow. And that’s OK!

We hope that these lifelong learning strategies will help you in achieving your goals in life.


Seema Chowdhry is Vice President, Curriculum, Harappa Education.


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