(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Traditionally, learning has been known as the process of gaining knowledge or skill, via schooling, study, experience, conditioning, and/or experimentation. Information, and the ability to synthesize it with experience, gives rise to knowledge, expertise, mastery and skills. But is that really learning?

Instead, isn’t learning the process of unlearning what you know? Of learning what you didn’t know you didn’t know? Of learning what you just REALLY learned versus what you acquired?

Learning is the active process that occurs right now; knowledge is about what you learned prior to now. This distinction is important because often clients will truly learn with a coach about themselves and truth, often in the middle of acquiring skills and knowledge. It’s almost like acquiring skills and knowledge is an excuse to learn what’s really important!

Take college for example. While students learn a whole lot about their subjects, don’t they learn a whole lot more about themselves and learn how to think and process? But if they don’t become themselves in the process, the knowledge and skill set they acquired is just an extension of themselves, which is nice, but misses the real point. True learning rarely occurs when one must learn in order to perform better. That said, acquire knowledge/skills AND learn. See the two as very, very, very distinct.


Copyright 1996 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.