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How to Master a New Skill

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https://hbr.org/2012/11/how-to-master-a-new-skill

hbr.org

How to Master a New Skill
We all want to be better at something. After all, self-improvement is necessary to getting ahead at work. But once you know what you want to be better at - be it public speaking, using social media, or analyzing data - how do you start?

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"In a fast-moving, competitive world, being able to learn new skills is one of the keys to success. It’s not enough to be smart — you need to always be getting smarter."

Heidi Grant Halvorson

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Check your readiness

Learning a new skill takes commitment. And there are certain limits to what you can learn. So, before starting working on a new skill, ask yourself:

  • If your goal really is attainable

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Make sure it’s needed

Make sure the skills you've chosen are relevant to your career, your organization, or both. 

Gaining a new skill is an investment and you need to know upfront what the return will b...

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Know how you learn best

You can find out your ideal learning style by looking back: review your past learning experiences and make a list of the good ones and another list of bad ones, in order to see the ele...

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Get the right support

Find and approach someone you trust who has mastered the skill you’re trying to attain. This will greatly increase your learning.

If you can’t find a mentor inside your company, look for peop...

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Start small and reflect

Choose one or two skills to focus on at a time, and break them down into manageable goals. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Also, take the time to reflect on what you're learni...

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Teach it to others

One of the quickest ways to learn something new, and to practice it, is to teach others how to do it. 

So share what you learn with your team, your manager, or your co-workers. 

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“We need to constantly look for opportunities to stretch ourselves in ways that may not always feel comfortable at first. Continual improvement is necessary to get ahead.”

Joseph Weintraub

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Motivation

Motivation

Motivation is not a switch. Motivation is a flow. 

If you can create a self sustaining motivation engine, you’ll not only be able to find more meaning and purpose in your life, bu...

Motivation Engine in 3 parts

  1. Core. Your purpose. It is sustained by two things: Having Meaning, and Forward Movement.
  2. Support. What enables your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build.
  3. Surface. Any type of external recognition that might give you motivation.

Changing careers

You and you alone are responsible for creating your own future. 

Time to give serious thought to this life-shaping question: What exactly are you going to do with the rest of your li...

Start with honest self-assessment

  • Analyze your current skill set, training level, and accomplishments to date. 
  • Write down the aspects of the work you liked and what tasks or things you disliked
  • Explore different career options. Investigate new fields, industries and potential careers. 
  • Interview individuals who work at those types of jobs, or in fields of interest to you. 
  • Look at growth opportunities, salaries, benefits, education level and then determine the job title to target.

Change from careers

  • Use your transferable skills. You have acquired abilities from previous positions.
  • Use your strengths. Incorporate your talents into any position you choose to go after.
  • Get new skills. Study the industry you want to enter. Take some courses so you can more quickly enter the field.
  • Many people prevent their own success. They find excuses, or blame others, for their own failures or mistakes instead of learning and improving from them.

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Improvement with learning

From the moment we are born, we are always learning new skills. We see it in formal capacities in school or on the job, and informally, like learning from you buddy how to grill a steak.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

“One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

Select your skill carefully

Be very selective in the skill you're trying to masker to avoid sabotaging your success:

  • Make sure it's applicable: The perfect skill either solves a problem you have or scratches an itch you have.
  • Be very specific: Specific goals are easier to pursue than vague counterparts. To set yourself up, narrow your skill down as much as possible. Ask what specific problem are you trying to solve, and find out what aspects you find most fascinating.
  • Make sure you love the process, not just the outcome: Pick a skill where the road is as exciting as the outcome. Then plan out celebration points along the way.

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