Coach Carol’s guide to being a better learner

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Carol McLachlan outlines how accountants can improve their learning techniques to study more effectively.

As a late baby-boomer swotting for exams in the 1970s and 1980s, I knew only two studying techniques: read and memorise. Before highlighter pens, the reading was laborious, often boring and thwarted by a wandering mind. The memorising was performed through verbal repetition or sometimes written regurgitation. Very occasionally I got my hands on a past exam question to practise on - and that was it. Apart from some strategic question spotting, ‘learning as technique’ wasn’t on the curriculum. We weren’t taught how to study, we pitched up, got stuck in and shed masses of blood, sweat and tears along the way.

These study skills did take me through O’levels, A’levels, a history degree and the ICAEW exams. The results were respectable, but relative to the time and angst involved, in retrospect the return on investment looks rather paltry.
It’s all so different nowadays. My children, born at the turn of the century, are being taught how to learn. As Michael Gerber (author of E-myth Revisited) teaches us in business, working ‘on’ the job, not just ‘in’ the job is now part of the school curriculum. ‘Whole brain’ and ‘mind friendly’ ways of learning present our children with a toolkit of techniques to choose from. They are taught to develop personal strategies for solving problems and how to play to their strengths.

So, fellow accountants, it’s time to play catch up. Whether you’re studying for exams, preparing for a presentation or seeking to quickly and effectively absorb and retain information, try these 21st century quick tips.

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About Carol McLachlan

About Carol McLachlan
Carol McLachlan FCA, is a chartered accountant, executive coach, NLP Practitioner and the creator of Blended Living™. She set up theaccountantscoach.com in 2005, following an 18 year career with Ernst & Young, working in London, Liverpool and Manchester. 13 years as an auditor and another 5 years as Ernst & Young’s north region Director of Resources, has brought an unparalleled breadth of experience working with fellow accountants. She’s worked not only at the ‘coal face’ in technical and client handling roles but also operationally and strategically on professional and personal development with accountants at all levels. Carol supports the accountancy profession, both individuals and organisations in a wide variety of professional and personal development areas: career planning, work-life balance, performance enhancement, leadership skills, team building, assertiveness training, confidence building, managing change, improving communication, managing conflict. She employs a variety of techniques including one to one coaching, group coaching, facilitated workshops, presentations and written and audio material. Carol is also a prolific writer and blogger. You may have seen her recent articles in the Finance & Management Faculty’s monthly magazine. She’s also an personal development agony aunt for the ACCA and CareersInAudit. And she’s the creator of Blended Living™ a brand new innovation in work life balancing for the 21st century. Quite simply Blended Living™ is a methodology which enables you to maximise the opportunities of modern living, while taking control of the demands and conflicts. Blended Living™ is for anyone and everyone who would like to maximize the return of their personal investment in the 21st century The mission of theaccountantscoach.com is to bring to the profession a fresh and innovative perspective on professional and personal development. The ultimate objective being to support fellow accountants in realising their potential and maximising their professional and personal success. The ingredients of the accountantscoach.com are unique. Many years experience as a Big 4 auditor. Extensive inhouse expertise in professional development as Ernst & Young’s regional Director of Resources. Performance training with the Central School of Speech and Drama and Comedy in Business. A huge range of hands-on coaching experience, as a Nightingale Conant Success coach on the Brian Tracy mentoring programme. Plus cutting edge tools and techniques from the art and science of communication, Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP). Theaccountantscoach.com offers bespoke one to one coaching, group coaching, facilitated workshops, presentations and written and audio materials. Topics include, but are not limited to: career planning, work-life balance, performance enhancement, leadership skills, team building, assertiveness training, confidence building, managing change, improving communication, managing conflict.

Replies

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13th Aug 2010 12:23

Can't find the test

Hi Carol

 

It may just be me, but I can't seem to find the test you have linked to.

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13th Aug 2010 13:57
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14th Aug 2010 05:59

Self review for future international licensing exam

Hello Ms. Carol,

I hope you may be able to help me. Im planning to do my own self review for any accounting licensing exam. At the moment, im here in kandajar, afghanistan working as admin assistant and i would like to use my spare time reviewing. By the way, I got a bachelor's degree in BSC Accounting, Phils. but unfortunately was not able to get the licensing back home. I hope it's not too late for me to get one. My email addresses are the following, to wit  :  [email protected] or [email protected] . Further, is there a way for me to get some used accounting review books? Until here and hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

 

Tess Achas 

 

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19th Aug 2010 12:14

Your questions

Hi Tess

Thanks for your questions, I'm going to email separately on these areas so we can identify exactly what you need.

Best wishes

Carol

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