GET REAL

Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Want to apply some of that great leadership training or coaching?

If you’re looking for leadership development, you’re in luck. There are abundant resources available, from on-line courses, to great books, to week-long retreats, to one-on-one executive coaching. Regardless of what you choose, the objective undoubtedly will include your ability to follow through after the reading, training, or coaching experience, and apply some of what you identify as your most significant learnings.

But here’s the thing. It’s not unusual—even if you look forward to trying new skills—to go back to work and have your day-to-day demands generate old reactions and tendencies, that may get in the way of your good intentions.

One thing you can do that may help you apply and practice new skills, is to commit to applying them in smaller steps—during specific situations. For example, instead of making a commitment to “listen more”, you might choose a specific meeting you have scheduled with an employee, or a delicate conversation you’re having tomorrow with a colleague, to apply your new listening skills. You might simply make a commitment, that during the one meeting or conversation, you’re going to make an effort to ask more questions before offering your input, so that you remain open to learning more about the other person’s viewpoint.

Applying skills within specific situations, with a more focused intention, and experiencing benefits from doing so, may help you apply and practice the skill, and build upon it, until it becomes more of a natural tendency.

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