FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Durelle Price

Unlearning 101

Saturday, February 21st, 2009 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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unlearning-sign6Albert Einstein, icon of intellect and insight, said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Universities are focused on higher learning when perhaps they should promote a course entitled Unlearning 101. Course objectives would include: remove cultural filters; abandon destructive behaviors; and stimulate individual creativity and ingenuity. Unlearning 101 would be a prerequisite for any degree plan. Pursuing a course of higher learning without having properly unlearned is akin to rolling naked in a mud puddle before dressing in a tuxedo. No matter how great the suit looks, you still need a bath.

Coming up on a half a century of life, I realize I’ve spent as much of my life unlearning as I have learning. I was 21 before I finally unlearned the ridiculous view that as long as I still had checks-I had money in the bank. I have unlearned, and am constantly unlearning, trans-generational prejudices. I have unlearned the inherited notion that I have little worth. I have unlearned the deceptive idea that I must always be “right.”

 Stephen R. Covey noted, “Accountability breeds response-ability.” You are better equipped to respond when you have effectively evaluated the paradigms that shape your decisions. Even the most obstinate of us will unlearn destructive behaviors when the pain of being stagnant and rejected outweighs the comfort of the old paradigm. Here you become open to accountability, the concept of mutual benefit, synergy, and fulfilling a higher purpose. Dr. Covey proposed, “The way we see the problem is the problem.” To unlearn, your mind must be open to change and employ critical thinking-questioning paradigms, examining facts, and exploring possible outcomes.

People who effectively unlearn are transition people. They represent hope and have great influence on others by sending the message that “you too can change.” Dr. John Covey (often introduced as Steve Covey’s younger, good-looking brother with the great hair) summed it well, “A transition person is one who stops unhealthy behaviors and starts on a new path that radiates positive influence.”

Transition people are quick to advise they did not make the journey of unlearning alone. Many cite mentors, coaches, or advisors who played the important role of confidant and guide to personal greatness along the conversion path. Executive coaching is an effective solution to acquiring the support, and achieving the clarity and balance, necessary to forge your road to success. As a coach, I guide my clients through a process of exploring issues, barriers, opportunities, and options. We work together to identify goals, leverage strengths, create a plan and track progress. This clarity, focus and support builds confidence and helps you find the courage to change and fulfill your potential as a community and business leader. Enlisting a coach is like registering for Unlearning 101. It is investing in your future-a declaration of interdependence-the ROI for which is priceless.

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5 Comments to Unlearning 101

MIranda Martinez
March 5, 2009

Thank you so much for your article. I completely agree. One of the best things I have learned this past year is that there’s no competition. There’s enough abundance in this world for all of us to thrive at the same time. If you truly believe this in your heart, it will be. It’s one of the things that I’ve learned recently that has changed my life. And I completely agree with Dr. Covey’s quote: “The way we see the problem is the problem.” If we all stopped and saw every issue with different eyes – step out of the box -, we could all be so much more creative!

Greg Link
March 17, 2009

As Stephen R. puts it “every great class hinges on the edge of chaos” Durelle you ARE a transition person extraordinaire!

October 26, 2009

Thanks for the extra thoughts! Having a mentor is a great way for the unlearning process to ease into one’s life. I made some of my own ponderings on the subject if you’re interested:

Bayode Olutunde
March 18, 2010

This is an helpful article. It contains one of my long-time findings. It wil surely help me in my growth&mentoring. Thanks to you, Durelle.

Annmarie hodgson
May 5, 2010

Good artical.

I agree that unlearning is as much of a challenge as learning.

We cannot go forward with our thinking. If we are stuck or set in our way.

The anaology of “being stuck in the mud” I like that.

I’m still learning and going forward . If I get stuck along the way. I’ll just brush myself off

and start again.

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