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How to Master a New Skill

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 be.

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How to Master a New Skill

How to Master a New Skill

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

hbr.org

8

Key Ideas

"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."

"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."

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
  • How much time and energy you can give to this process.

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 be.

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 elements they had in common.

By doing this, you'll be able to define the learning environment that works for you.

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 people in your industry or from your network

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 learning. Thinking and talking about your progress will help you get valuable feedback and will keep you accountable.

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. 

“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.”

“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.”

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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
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“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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