The Learning Circle: Perspective & Performance

One of our very favorite tools for developing leaders at Pattern Talent is called The Learning Circle. Learning new things is a crucial part of leadership, but what you do with what you learn is just as important. That’s what The Learning Circle is all about. 

Brad recently worked through The Learning Circle on our YouTube channel here, so make sure you check that out, especially if you’re a visual learner. While you’re there, make sure you like and subscribe so that you don’t miss any new content from Pattern.  

The Learning Circle works like this: you’re going through life, you’re going through time, and then boom, you have a moment in time where you experience a revelation, a flash of inspiration, a moment of crystal clarity and understanding. And that sends you on a cascade of learning. Maybe it’s something new like you read some great insight in a new book or heard a great quote on a podcast. Or maybe it’s something huge, like you’ve got new striking clarity on your life calling. Either way, The Learning Circle is a tool that helps you work from perspective to performance.  

The first part of the circle is your perspective. Anytime we learn something new, we have a shift in perspective. The Greeks called this a “metanoia” and it literally means to “change your mind.” The second part is performance. Learning new information requires that we change the way we perform. When we learn something new, we should act in such a way that reflect that change. 

So how do we start? Once we have this moment in time, this revelatory experience, this miracle, this new piece of data or information, a new mentor, a new book, a podcast, we heard and experience, we had a dream, anything that you can think of that wakes you up from your normal way of thinking, step one is to: 


We take a second, a deep breath, and try to understand exactly what it was that happened. We have to observe that experience. Next we:


We have to ask ourselves, what does that experience mean to me? What does it mean in the broader narrative of the life that I’ve been living, and what I can do with that experience moving forward into the future? Then, as our perspective is shifting, we need to include relationships and people that we trust in the process. So here we:


We have to process and discuss this new found knowledge with high trust relationships. 

This is where we ultimately find the perspective shifting elements of a learning journey, we observe the experience, we reflect on its meaning. And we begin to process and discuss it in the context of community. 

Next, we move to actually having to perform that new learning, we have to actually do something. We don’t start doing a new thing without this first step: 


We must actually taking an account of where we currently are, and what progress needs to be made. We need to understand our current state and how this new information influences and affects our current state. Next we need to, make a: 


We make a plan for how we’re going to integrate this new knowledge into our life in a way that’s authentic to who we are, but also recognizes that a change is taking place. Finally, we need to:


It’s not enough to just plan: we actually have to execute. 

Performance isn’t dictated on your plan or your account of your current state. It’s not about the relationships in your life and what they think about something you learned. It’s not about your own reflections, and it’s not about the experience itself. It’s about how you behave in light of the rest of this process. If we don’t act, we’ve missed it.

And we know that we can’t act without writing things down and sharing them. Any time that you’re going through a learning experience, any time that you read a book and you have a shift in your perspective, do yourself a favor and go through this process. Write down your observations, share some reflections in a journal, discuss those new learnings with closely trusted relationships, taking account of your current state and how to integrate that new knowledge into your life. Make a plan of attack for how you’re going to implement these changes, and then go execute. It may help to draw your own version of this meme: 

The next time you’re working through a big perspective shift, let Pattern Talent help. Set up some time to talk to Brad here, or send an email to

January 17, 2024


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