Lately I’ve reinforced my interest in learning to learn. I get several benefits from it. First, I learn how to learn better for my own purposes. Second, I learn more about how other people learn. Third, if I apply what I learn about how other people learn, I can become a better consultant/coach/trainer. And, magically, fourth, I am liberated from needing to find a teacher to learn the things I’m interested in learning.

The reinforcement for my learning to learn comes in the form of “Where Are Your Keys?” or The Fluency Game. (Full disclosure: My son introduced me to this new idea. It’s good to learn from family.) While exploring WAYK (abbreviation and twitter hashtag), I’ve acquired a set of techniques for learning. Many of them are not new; however, most of them have not been used in just this way before. I’m reminded of remarks about the Agile Manifesto – not new ideas either, but collected and presented in a new way.

All together there are more than 100 WAYK techniques for learning, and the list is growing. The community invents and adds new all the time. I’ve only become fluent in a few, and I'm working on others. One of my favorites is the technique for dealing with “mistakes” or unexpected outcomes. When WAYK-ians notice that they’ve done something other than what they meant or didn’t do it the way they hoped or didn’t get the outcome they wanted, they fling both arms into the air (it’s important to include the arm movement), smile widely, and say, “How fascinating!”

“How fascinating!” keeps me, as the learner, in the flow of learning and prevents my stumble from stopping the flow. It notices that any result is a useful result and carries with it an opportunity to learn something new.

Next time you think you’ve made a mistake or had a failure, try the “How Fascinating!” technique to continue your flow/gain fluency in your chosen skill.