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4 Ways Leadership Skills Show Up When Learning New Things

Leaders never stop learning.

I’ve always looked at the scholastic or philosophical side of that statement more than the technical or the tactical. 

Reading articles, books, or studying the habits of other leaders is what came to mind most often, and then I was forced to learn a new website platform.

I’ve spent countless hours over the last three weeks trying to figure out how to use all the features, adapt what I had been doing to what’s now available and cursing under my breath in frustration because it just shouldn’t be that difficult.

It’s called learning.

And I don’t have as much patience for it as I thought.

You can know something without it being a learned behavior or habit. For that to happen, you need to actually do the thing. 

The whole experience reminded me that I can read all the articles I want and study other leaders but unless I put myself in position to practice a new skill it won’t actually be something I learn.

Here’s what else I realized, learning things outside of my expertise or work-related topics forced my brain to problem solve in different ways. I couldn’t just categorize the information into one of the existing “buckets” in my memory bank. 

Learning new things outside of my skillset was not only a good challenge, but a reminder of how to learn and the leadership skills that can show up when learning new things.

 4 Ways Leadership Skills Show Up When Learning New Things

  1. Show Humility. It’s faster to ask for help that trying to figure it out on your own. There’s plenty to learn so don’t add a degree of difficulty by ignoring the “chat with an expert” feature on the website or the “Help” page that offers assistance.
  2. Schedule Time. It’s going to take more than 20 minutes, and you know it. Don’t add to the frustration and anxiety of the situation by not giving yourself enough time to learn.
  3. Be Curious. Be willing to sit with it and problem solve in a new way. Maybe try clicking a couple buttons and see what they do. Once you’ve given yourself time and admitted you don’t have all the answers the pressure is off to be perfect in the execution.
  4. Make Notes to Replicate Success. You can’t expect to duplicate success if you only completed one successful attempt and don’t remember how you got there.

Learning new things takes time. Gaining new leadership skills doesn’t have to. The Leaders Learn email series is designed for busy and overwhelmed leaders who only have a few additional minutes in their week for learning. This free 16-week series provides bite-sized leadership nudges in five sentences or less to keep you learning, leading and free to focus on everything else you have to do.


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