5 Ways to Learn A New Skill

When we learn a new skill, we grow.

To grow, we have to be willing to stretch beyond what feels comfortable. Learning a new skill can intimidate many of us. Irrational fears can run around our minds and make us question if we have what it takes to push ourselves to the next level.

Getting stuck in this phase is easy. The problem with staying in this comfort zone too long is that we grow stagnant as the rest of the world develops around us. So how do we get unstuck and finally make that leap?

learn a new skillAccording to a recent article written by Amy Gallo, these are some important principles to follow to learn a new skill:

Ensure the new skill is attainable
To answer this truthfully, think about your current workload, your schedule, any outside demands and tally how much time you are willing to invest. Do you have the time required to learn a new skill? Can you commit to it wholeheartedly?

Find the method that compliments your best learning style
We all learn differently. Some prefer visual over auditory, while others learn best in a hands-on type of situation. Think back to previous times when you’ve learned new skills. Which were most effectively learned? In what type of environment did you learn it? Was it in a classroom, online, or in a one-on-one workshop? Find the system to learn a new skill that works best with your personality.

Learn from a trusted mentor
Find someone doing exactly what you want to be doing and model after him/her. Talk with this person. Ask open-ended questions that will get the conversation steering down a path that will enrich your learning experience. Shadow him. Many are willing to take others under their wing and teach them lessons that they may have worked years to learn.

Tackle one or two skills at a time
Many times we overwhelm ourselves by trying to tackle too much at once. It’s unrealistic to create too many challenging goals and expect to sustain the drive and motivation to achieve them all at once. Pick one or two actionable items, at most, and focus on them. Once you’ve mastered them, move on to the next set.

Take what you’ve learned and apply it by teaching it to others
When we learn a new skill, a great way to cement it in our brains is to put it into practice right away. A great technique to doing this is to teach someone else what you’ve learned. This action may open up new questions you have on the process and cause you to dig deeper to understand and learn it even more proficiently. It also offers you the ability to connect to action right away by illustrating the skillset to someone else.

Instructional designers can apply these tips to their personal learning goals, and keep them in mind when they’re helping others acquire new skills.

Most important THING to remember when you want to learn a new skill is to take action on it!

Always in learning mode,
Your friends at ISD Now

P.S. Let’s turn this over to you… Do you use any of the above tactics or have any additional ones when you learn a new skill?