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Learning How to Learn | Part One

self management Aug 01, 2019

Have you ever gone to a lecture, been inspired, vowed to implement some of the strategies, never got around to it, forgot everything you learned, and changed absolutely nothing?

We all have.

Our crazy distraction-filled world doesn’t help.  I think it’s alarming how the ability to concentrate is becoming a rare skill.

We’ve become ridiculously lazy.  Why bother learning anything when we can instantly Google the answer?

But here’s the thing.  Google can give you instant answers to simple questions, but it cannot give you the deep knowledge that is required to build SKILL.

You’ll never differentiate yourself as a talented, deeply knowledgeable, highly skilled REALTOR®, until you start DOING, as opposed to LISTENING or READING.

The “learning pyramid,” developed by the National Training Laboratory, suggests that students only retain about 10% of what they learn from textbooks, but they retain about 90% of what they learn through teaching others.  The exact percentages are debatable due to numerous variables, but there is little doubt that the order of the pyramid from top to bottom is highly accurate.

Every teacher will agree that contemplating how to help others understand a concept is the best way to improve one’s understanding of the subject.

I can personally attest to this!

As an individual agent, I earned in the range of $590K-$865K throughout my Real Estate career, which most would regard as being highly successful.

Confession time:  I did this mostly by instinct and seat-of-the-pants decision making.  Yes, I did certain things that turned out to be massively helpful, but I made most of the decisions to do those things by pure fluke.  Here’s my decision-making process early on in my career:

“Well, I’ve got nothing else to do, so I guess I’ll try doing this.”

It’s a fluke that I happened to choose to do the right things.  But here’s the key point:

I DID things.  That’s how I learned.  I didn’t just sit around and listen to others or read about what to do.  I DID.  Yes, I listened and read, but then I took action.

Did I make mistakes?

Hundreds of them!  That’s an important part of the process of learning.  You do things, you make mistakes, you make adjustments, and you become SKILLED.

Now, in my new career as a coach and trainer, I’m discovering something I never expected:

I’m elevating my skill level far beyond what it ever was before!

By teaching others, I have to learn concepts far more thoroughly than my previous “seat-of-the-pants” knowledge.  The practice of teaching concepts to others is forcing me to learn and retain information at a much deeper level than I ever had before.

This is exciting for me, as I transform my life from REALTOR® to educator.

And this is guiding my actions as I work towards the development of my online course.  I’ve had the entire first section (half a book) written for a while now.  But that’s just the first step.  I don’t want my course to be just another “regurgitation of information”, to be briefly experienced and forgotten.

My challenge is to design the course so that it is interactive and encourages my students to take action on the concepts.  That is how they will become SKILLED.

I will never be satisfied to simply sell my course to a thousand REALTORS®.  I have a far more lofty goal that that:

I want each one of my students to put the ideas into practice and achieve true success.

Truly wanting my clients to achieve success is the same attitude I had in my Real Estate career, and I’m still the same person, after all.

Here’s the key lesson for you from this post:

If you truly want to learn a new skill, put it into practice.  DO it.

Beyond that, try to teach the new skill to someone else.  This could be as simple as discussing a new concept with your spouse. 

You may trip over your words at first.  That’s part of the process.  If you can’t clearly explain the concept to someone else, it means you don’t know it well enough.  Go back, re-read, study, practice, and try again.

Is it a struggle?   Yes, indeed!

You need to accept that learning anything new is a struggle.  Your brain is literally building new neuro-transmitters and connections.  Just like a physical workout, your mental workout can be painful.

To train your brain, accept the pain.

That’s life, folks.  If you’ve got lofty goals, you don’t reach them by sitting around day-dreaming.  You DO what you need to DO, including learning new skills.

How do I know learning is a painful experience?  Because I’m doing it right now!  You think I’m pulling all this stuff straight out of my brain?  Ha! 

Sure, it’s painful, but it’s also immensely rewarding.

I’m thoroughly intrigued by what I’m currently learning about learning, so watch for more tips on how to learn more effectively, coming next week!

—Coach Ted

Ted Greenhough

12 X RE/MAX Chairman’s Club ($500K+) all as an individual agent (2006-2017)
Now, I teach good REALTORS® how to be great REALTORS®

Knowledge First Real Estate Training
Knowledge + Action = Skill

"This coaching program is not only a game changer, but a life changer. I have been in the business just over 11 years, and now and only now do I really have the necessary tools, expert advice and confidence to knock it out of the park.
Now at listing appointments I say, "Bring it on!" I look forward to the challenge and love my listing presentation. I appreciate Ted's approach to real estate coaching. Instead of saying "I need to…" or "I'm going to…" I now DO!!  Very thankful, Ted."

— Mike Hadnagy, RE/MAX Realty Professionals


To dramatically elevate the level of 
customer service in Real Estate in North America.

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