If you’re anything like me, you probably expect everything to happen yesterday:
- I’ve just finished my degree, why don’t I have my dream job yet?
- Wow, this new role is taking me forever to get used to, why am still floundering?!
- My coaching style feels stagnant, why can’t I go deep enough?
These types of thoughts are with us every day. For some more than others. But instant gratification doesn’t always apply. Yes, we do need to move forward, to grow and to develop, so that we remain relevant and don’t run the risk of being replaced or put under performance review; but we also need to trust and understand the process to get where we want to be.
So if you have learnt a new skill, the bottom line is that you’re not immediately going to be the expert.
We’re all under a truckload of pressure, and I’m not only referring to COVID. I am talking about the speed at which life happens. Our inboxes are overflowing, client expectations are more demanding and turnaround times are shrinking. Basically, if we want something, we want it immediately. This seems to spill over to the approach and expectations with our skills development.
A decade or so ago I felt like my skill in executive facilitation and coaching was not evolving. I felt like I was a trainer (and a damn good one), but that I just couldn’t get the right angle, approach and capability to really step into the consulting framework and process facilitation space.
I raised this as my topic in the coaching circle I was part of (become part of one if you haven’t already, they are incredible) and as we went through the coaching process Judith Haupt (my one peer coach and business partner at the time) drew this image for me, which has stuck with me ever since:
I suddenly realised that:
- The little scribbly bits where I get that extremely frustrating feeling of being stuck are actually me building my hours in that skill, learning the ins and outs, and really getting to grips with the topic.
- This time gives me the opportunity to build what Malcolm Gladwell speaks about, the baseline for my 10 000 hours.
- If I skipped spending time here, I’d merely be learning the most basic parts of the skill of process facilitation. I wouldn’t be making mistakes, gaining feedback, taking chances or seeing how things play out. I’d just be playing it safe!
As this realisation dawned on me, my competitive style came out: what good is playing it safe, what good is being average?! That is the last thing I want to be – where people say: “yeah she is good at what she does”. Absolutely not! I want people to say: F*ck, she is the best I have ever dealt with, don’t even bother looking elsewhere”.
And that level of brilliance only comes from spending time in the “boring” space where the feeling is of stuckness, why am I not learning quicker, why am I struggling. All of this and every point in your development curve is what is going to give you the edge.
So, embrace those moments; sure, they’re frustrating but don’t do it and others who do will surpass you and be the best.
In order to speed up some emotional intelligence in your development, head on over to our online course page.
Knowledge isn’t power, ACTION is!