The secret to learning new things is to be willing to unlearn–even if your behaviours previously brought success.

Begin at the beginning. In order to pick up a new skill, even if it’s similar to something you already can do, learn what makes it different. All of us repeat things that worked in the past, even when they don’t apply to the now. Repeating isn’t always a bad strategy, but when there is a significant difference, the old approach holds you back

Stay open. Unlearning doesn’t require you to toss out all your accumulated experiences or presume previous know-how will keep you from success. Rather, it asks that you stay open to different ways of getting things done.


Look for mirrors. Make it easy for your boss, coworkers, employees, family, and friends to give you guidance by asking for it. The more people you have in your life who help you reflect on your behaviours, the greater your chance to gain an accurate sense of how other people perceive you and which actions to unlearn.


Examine your beliefs. Your beliefs determine your behaviour and it’s difficult to act inconsistently with your beliefs for very long. When you believe you already know the right way to do things, everything else can seem wrong. Why then would you want to unlearn what you’re currently doing, let alone replace it with something else?



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