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Look and Learn

Watch how this method is used

Doing it Right
Doing it Wrong

Do you remember the first time you had to fry an egg? You did not fry the egg by following instructions from a cookbook. Instead, you recalled how a family member, teacher or friend fried an egg and tried to imitate his/her actions. This is learning through observation.

Learning by observing others is very natural to us. We started observing and learning when we were babies. However, we seldom consciously practice this method of learning at the workplace in a structured manner.

The focus of this workplace learning method is to give you a few tips on how you can learn better when you observe others.

Here are some tips to help you learn better when observing others:

  1. Determine who and what to observe
  2. Pay attention to what is around you
  3. Remember the behaviour demonstrated (through the use of notes, photos, videos)
  4. Break down the behaviour into actions that you are able to repeat
  5. Practice the actions

  1. Organisation / management
    • Create a culture where good behaviours are rewarded openly
    • Create a culture where imitating good behaviours are rewarded

  2. Workplace ‘trainer’
    • Reward good behaviour openly

    • Praise the good behaviour and not just the person

    • Encourage imitation of good behaviour

  3. Workplace ‘learner’
    • Do not be afraid or shy to imitate the good behaviours you have observed
    • Think about the actions you have observed that will help you, do not imitate thoughtlessly
    • After practicing the action, review it