Skill vs Will

This past week I had to go through mandatory management training at work. I state it as if it were a chore that should have a big ol’ check box next to it as I quickly move on to the next task. Secretly, though, I majorly geek out for days like this. I learned a lot and I was lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals from the company in groups extremely different from mine. It gave us a chance to attempt to see things from the other side of the lens. Three things, however, were key takeaways for me that I think apply well beyond the corporate environment.

1. All situations can be addressed from two angles, with two different mentalities. Skill or will. To shed some light – does your staff need direct training on the task at hand, or do they need emotional support and reinforcement on the will and healthy mindset of their job in general.

2. The second piece that hit home was the first thing to come out of the instructors mouth, I believe. This was solely meant to be an attention grabber to get everyone super focused and hone in on themselves – and maybe stop chugging their coffee for caffeine support. It was a nudge in the right direction to help us decide to commit to the day. It wasn’t necessarily brought up repetitively, or ever again for that matter, but it definitely did resonate with me. The only thing you should ever focus on changing is YOU.

There is no use in saying that you do not have enough resources, enough people, or enough time. If you believe any of these to be true – rephrase the question. How can you more effectively utilize your resources? How can you get more out of your team? How can you make current tasks more efficient? You see, it all stems with what you do with exactly what you have.

3. What is your superpower? Just like all typical group classes we began the day by going around the room to introduce ourselves. This time, however, we weren’t allowed to say what our title was or what we did in the organization. The only thing he wanted us to share was what we believe we are best at enough to make a difference with it.

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All of these tactics translate far beyond the work environment. I hear so many people say that they wish they could do something that they see someone they admire do. Rather than saying I wish I could do what they do – rephrase to a question.

Skill:
How can I do what they do? What skills do I need to do what they do? Do I currently have those skills, or can I acquire them?

Will:
Do I have the will to do what they do? What will motivate me to get there? Am I willing to put in the effort to get the results?

Focus on what you can do. Once you focus in on yourself and determine exactly you need to do for yourself – the rest falls into place. No excuses, no finger pointing, no wishful thinking. Just concrete, attainable, fulfilling aspirations. The best place to start? Figuring out how to utilize your superpowers and those of others!

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