Further education: That's how learning motivation works!


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Many already know how self-determined learning does not work. So how could it go? Employees are simply put books in front of their nose and the instruction "So, teach yourself what you need to know"? No, it's not that simple.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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How does motivation work in the brain?

First of all, the human being must be motivated to change something about his current situation or to want to learn something.

And neurologically speaking, this is how it works: In our brain, the limbic system checks in all that we should do, whether the required behavior promises a reward or at least helps to avoid displeasure. This happens on the basis of past success experiences or failures.

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Our reward system

Say: If you want to educate yourself, this must be attractive because of his previous experience, he must have an incentive to feel a positive, light stress. Only then are we ready to get started. Therefore learning should not be too easy!

Because in the brain, the neuromodulatory system controls our receptivity, our motivation and our interest through the release of certain neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine.

We need a learning objective

And that only happens when we have a goal in mind that seems rewarding to us.

Over time, we learn more and more to reward ourselves - for example, by always setting ourselves new incentives that lead to new rewards. In this way, we continue to learn self-motivated.

Pressure produces fear of failure

On the other hand, too much pressure and stress lead to a sense of threat and fear of failure, thus inhibiting the success of learning. Because then we have the feeling that, despite all the effort no reward.

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And all the impressions that we associate with fear are stored in the so-called amygdala, whose task is to prepare for retrieving the stored negative impressions for combat or flight.

When creative learning becomes impossible

In this situation it is then no longer possible to creatively deal with knowledge. On the contrary, in the future we will do everything possible to avoid similarly stressful situations.

The perfidious: Exam results, certifications and participants' votes have one thing in common: They say nothing at all about the learning success. Really!

The practical implementation in the job?

They do not guarantee that the training was really good. Because the practical implementation in the job, and that is the learning success, they say nothing. Only: that's what matters!

Because they usually only say something about the training itself - the later implementation in the professional life and in the Company is almost never included in the evaluation. But that would be important to be able to really judge the success of a further education.

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The practice is the best learning environment!

Reason: You can actually learn best in your usual professional environment or in an environment in which you feel comfortable. This has several reasons, as the research results of the neurobiologists prove:

First, we actually learn people much better on the practical model, instead of getting knowledge just pre-chewed in theory.

The perfect learning environment

In learning by the model, one must not only observe actions, but also understand, supplement and, if necessary, even correct them.

In an optimal learning environment we feel motivated to try something and start a new attempt in the event of a mistake.

Learning makes you happy!

Natural curiosity acts as an optimal drive: the more often we experience the problem of solving a problem ourselves, the more self-confidence grows.

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Because as long as we are in search of something, there is a certain amount of restlessness in our brain. When the problem is solved then, the arousal gives rise to arousal and a sense of satisfaction arises, because certain messenger substances are released in the brain that trigger feelings of happiness.

Leaning for learning instead of learning frustration

In this way you get the greater desire to try something new again. And that's why people learn especially well when they can choose their own learning material based on their previous professional experience.

Because then they can decide for themselves what new experiences they are interested in, and can tie the experiences made in this way particularly well to the existing knowledge and thus optimally expand their behavioral patterns.

Self-reliant learning that builds on our previous professional experience as possible, so is the best form of training.

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