Let me now share 3 key learning points to help maximize a strength.
First, Shortcuts usually shortchange the payoff. Based on the level of preparation and practice, we can more or less predict the outcome of an effort. Sometimes, we wing it, we win it and we think that’s enough. We become confident and forget to do what we need to do. So our results become inconsistent over time.
For example, in a training delivery, we as trainers, need to research about our participants’ profiles, know our contents well, prepare the tools and materials, and practice our delivery. If we skip any of these steps and rush through it, there’s a higher chance we get less favourable results.
During a training delivery, we can improvise, and rely on experience, but that should be more of the exception than the rule.
As in any skill, the key to mastery is the repetition. It’s all about the 3P – the patient practice to perfection. It’s about “sharpening the ax” 4 out of 6 hours.
Second, Feedback is a gift. Giving feedback is easier compared to receiving feedback. It takes an open heart and mind to receive comments we might not like or agree with.
It takes humility to truly listen, and courage to take the needed actions to improve and raise the bar.
The way I’ve dealt with this was to remind myself that whenever I receive a constructive feedback, I’m receiving a precious gift.
One of these precious gifts came when I was a young and new manager. Our company had a 360 degree leadership survey, and I was surprised to receive a wide range of ratings and feedback, from the lowest 1 to the highest 5. I realised then the value of situational leadership, where “one leadership style did not fit all”. The awareness became a key that unlocked my pursuit for continuous development and growth as a people manager and leader.
Third, Don’t settle long. There’s a danger to be so comfortable that we become complacent and we stop growing.
Steve Jobs has famously said “don’t settle…stay hungry, stay foolish.” Growth happens beyond our comfort zone.
For instance, in today’s digital age, we need to continuously learn and update our digital skills. For some of us, this might be beyond our comfort zone and might be frustrating to keep ourselves up-to date with the fast changing technologies. Whenever we feel this way, remember the difference between a sharp and a dull ax, and how a sharpened one can maximize our natural strength or power.
So, remember our key to maximising our strength – the 3PIE, which is PATIENT PRACTICE to PERFECTION and continuous IMPROVEMENT through EVALUATION.
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