I remember how it felt to be ten years old. I was one of the kids in the class that most kids liked. I wasn’t too bossy, too silly or too needy. I was generally happy and was probably most known for helping others. I tried not to be mean to other kids and I think I was fairly successful, at least most of the time. When I look back at report cards, I was always described as “talkative and creative”. I guess some things never change.
I also had friends who were a couple years older than me, so no matter how smart I was or how well I did something, there was often an older friend who was just that much better than I was. Age is a funny thing because to a ten year old, even two or three years can mean a lifetime of difference in someone’s experience level. Back then, I could always find someone with skills I envied.
I suppose time hasn’t changed much. I still see those individuals in my life who can do things better than I can.
Perspective Helps You Measure Up
The difference between ten year old Trish and the person I am today is my interpretation of people who are more skilled. Now, intstead of pangs of jealousy, I can either choose to just admire the person for what they accomplish or I can choose to build those same skills myself.
Too often in the workplace, we find employees stuck in the jealousy phase. What can we do to focus their attention on either admiration or personal skill building? Here are a few we can suggest:
- Find a mentor at work and ask questions about how they learned the expertise they have
- Take specific classes to build the skills you need
- At work, ask to be assigned projects that will challenge you in new ways
- Look for sources online like the Learn New Skills Blog
How do you learn or improve skills you have? How do you do the same for your team?