To be honest, I have way too many interests to sit still and really take the time to learn something in perfection. That’s why I have always been searching for methods to increase my diverse number of skills and decrease the time that it takes me to get a certain skill to pro-level.
I have developed a 3-step method that I use with every skill I try to learn and while I can elaborate on each step much longer than I do in this post, I will give a good framework to get started and probably come back with some later posts on each step separately.
The first step to create wicked skill levels is to learn. As soon as you have decided what to learn, it’s time to setup a learning program.
Deconstruct the skill to small subskills. You need to do research and answer at least the following questions, before you can do this:
Who are the execution experts? Who are the top trainers? Not every execution expert is someone who can transfer their knowledge to someone else. So you need to find the top trainers.
What are the best training tools? Find the best books, videos, blogs, publications, courses, forums, etc you can find.
Read and view as much about the above found answers as you can can. At least enough so you have a feel with how you can deconstruct the skill set.
As soon as you have deconstructed the skill set, write down what you need to do to learn each subskill. Setup a learning program for each step.
It’s time to DO and start practicing each subskill, or at least the most important subskills. If you do this with a real focus per subskill you will notice the time it takes in total will be reduced dramatically.
You will go through 2 stages during the Do phase. The first is the stage where you will still be thinking about executing. You are still adapting while receiving feedback from practice.
The second stage is the stage where you will notice you don’t have to think about executing it anymore. This is the autonomous stage where you will be effectively and efficiently executing the subskill.
After going through all the subskills necessary to learn the new skill, you will have a combined set of subskills that make up a complete new skill.
If I have learned a new skill, I always think about how I would share this learning program with someone new. I analyze what I have done right and how I would transfer the skill.
Sometimes, with certain topics, I actually am so passionately interested in it, that I do teach them to others. Creating a training program and actually teach the new skill to other is where you will find out that you are still learning.
You can get questions from students that you didn’t think of, which let you see the skill in a new light. You will see execution problems you did not have for yourself while learning it.
All these extra variables that you need to answer and act on is the best and fastest way to improve further and will help you create wicked skill levels for yourself.
Something that will for sure get you out of your comfort level, but that will create the fastest results is to combine all 3 steps.
You can learn, do and teach at the same time. Many people want to learn before they do, but the actual fact of combining those two is what creates the connection. And with a big step out of your comfort level, you can explain what you are actually doing to someone else at the same time.
This way it’s not only connections in your head, but you have to translate it to words, which will lead to a clearer view of ‘how’ for yourself. It may not be the best training course yet, but you will get enough challenges to fully immerse yourself in the process of learning the skill.
Have fun and remember to always keep expanding your skill list!