This week I am throwing down the gauntlet and inviting you to a challenge. This one is a good one! But firstly, you need to think about the questions I am going to ask and keep it in mind until the end: When is the last time you learned something new or picked up a new skill? When was the last time you supported someone in learning a new skill?

‘Not enough hours in the day!’, I can hear you starting up already! Not true. You have kindly made time to read this article. Self-development, without you realising, starts here!

Support and Praise

Remember what it was like to learn how to ride a bike, drive a car, and for the more refined amongst us, tie a cravat, it was a BIG deal! Going through the motions, repeating the steps and having someone gently guide you through it, and when we succeeded, that awesome feeling of achievement. Usually you would have had someone there to cheer you on and guide you giving motivation and a big back slap upon completing the job. This scenario can also be played out at work, especially if you are like me and the new photocopier with lots of buttons which does everything but make tea is now a necessity to use. I usually have someone to help me through the motions giving support if I need it. Shrieking at someone like a drill sergeant and showing impatience will not yield quick results. Remember that!

Taking Risks

The key to independence is encouraging yourself and those around you to take risks and make mistakes. You need to be able to make mistakes to learn, right? In that way you can know where you went wrong and correct it, and then follow the right path. It may take a few tries, but if you are persistent you will get there. For others around you, let them spread their wings and be tolerant if they do fail first time. It’s the learning and how they deal with correcting the issue which is important. Imagine if Steve Jobs, Napoleon or Darth Vader did not take any risks to achieve the notoriety they enjoy today. I am sure they made mistakes along the way too!

Personal Feedback

People for some reason fear feedback. They automatically think this means criticism or having an unwanted spotlight being thrust upon them. Instead use this as a chance once you know what you are doing right, carry on with the good habits, making you the very best you can be. If the feedback is less than complimentary, accept it with good grace and turn it into a positive. As a bonus take the opportunity to stretch yourself and learn a new skill adding another string to your bow. This could open up doors for you in the future. Feedback is most definitely a gift! Winning!

Leading Others

Part of becoming an influencer is the skill of being able to give yourself to others. This means taking the time to teach, coach and guide others with your knowledge, experience and feedback in a positive and encouraging way. Even when you give feedback which is not so positive, always ensure that it is still motivational and inspiring.

Drink to Success

Mine is a strong Americano, two sugars! When a job is done exceptionally well, or a new skill is mastered, whether it is as an individual or a team, celebrate it! It’s a great way to build endorphins, and the feeling is contagious. Cheers to that!

Now we come full circle. When was the last time you learned something new or inspired others to do the same? Challenge yourself to try it. It may lead to a new and exciting path!


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