So much information!

So much information!

Feb 14 , 2022

Last Friday was a long and very full day. Not really that long even, just 8 to 3, but filled with information. I am a member of the Leadership Utah Class of 2022 through the Salt Lake Chamber. This month was Government Day. (We meet one day each month, and each meeting explores a different theme.) 

Since the world, down to state, county and municipal level is still in varying stages of lifting of Covid restrictions, our visit was limited in physical scope. We spent the morning in a board room at the Utah State Capitol, did get to sit in on the House in session for a few minutes, and then spent the afternoon at the Chamber, with visits from a Utah Supreme Court Justice as well as Salt Lake City and County level economic representatives. I highly recommend this program for any leader, no matter your age, to meet other business and agency leaders, and to learn more about the resources around you. 

And with that said, back to our blog title today: So much information!

Every month I walk away from that class, whether we have visited arts and sports venues, academic institutions, volunteer organizations, or government as yesterday, my head just filled with ideas about how we can use the information and resources to be a better business and to better serve our customers. 

And today, as I opened emails about Valentine's Day sales and resources for the celiac, gluten sensitive and food allergic community, I thought about how there is so much information out there for the community already, and how to navigate it all? I mean, I need at least a day to just decompress and process after Leadership Utah, musing the whole drive home to Laramie from Salt Lake City on Saturday, and then after taking Sunday off, I hop into work ready to continue putting ideas together on Monday morning. I know there is, likewise, a ton of information to sift through if you are newly diagnosed, or have a child or other loved one who has been. 

I myself receive emails from various celiac and food allergy organizations daily. There are any number of apps available these days to point you to gluten free shopping and dining options wherever you are. And webinars and other information to help you learn more about celiac disease and food allergies, and to become an advocate for yourself and your community. We had visits from many resources over the year and a half that we supplanted our usual community contacts through expos with Lunch and Watch live streaming during the pandemic. And the question arose more than once: How do we choose the resources that are right for us, rather than plunging in and wading through them all?

As a former teacher (haha, not really. I will always be a teacher in some way, regardless whether standing in front of a classroom!) I would suggest first thinking about who you are in terms of how you learn best and how you interact with others best. 

I am a visual-tactile learner. While I enjoy podcasts for entertainment on occasion, these do not work for me in a learning environment. I need to see the person talking, and visual resources like pictures, demos and graphs. Even better, put me in a classroom where I can feel the environment around me, hear how others are responding to a question, doodle while taking notes, or, even though it can be daunting, participate in a group learning activity. I love to read, and this trumps TV or a movie in the evenings for me, though I do enjoy the video experience too. I will devour a book or paper about a topic of interest, and a workbook can be a nice addition. What about you? How do you learn best?

And how do you relate with, or interact with, others? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you more comfortable learning on your own? Do you enjoy participating as a member of, or leading, a large group? Group classes, tours, talks- even try branching out to connect with a resource and coordinating a talk, tour, demo or other experience could work for you. 

These are just some very basic ideas. And in the interest of self-advocacy, as we discussed often on Lunch N Watch, do not waste your time with a mode that won't work for you. It's YOUR time, and YOUR life, and YOU should be able to make the most of it. If someone, friend, colleague, professional suggests you try something that just doesn't resonate, ask yourself first if you are just worried about trying something new. And if your gut tells you, "No, I just wouldn't enjoy that venue" or similar, politely decline, explain why, and ask if there might be a more suitable resource that person could suggest?

There is SO MUCH INFORMATION out there! (Some is great, some is junk.) It's exciting to have so many resources available almost immediately these days! But that can be overwhelming too. Start slow, and understand the learning process is indeed a journey, and you don't have to know it all immediately. 

Have fun!

With continued commitment,

Lisa

Lisa Cox is CEO/ SVP Sales & Marketing for Gem City Fine Foods. She has a long career as an educator and program director. 


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