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If You Aren’t Practicing Your New Skills, They Won’t Stick

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

If you want to speak a new language, would taking one course make you fluent in that language? If you want to take up a new sport, like golf or tennis, would a full week of training make you an amazing player? No!

Then why do we think we can send leaders to a one-day, one-week or even one-hour course and expect to make that leader a great boss?

It takes practice. And you know what happens when you practice? You make mistakes.

Here are some snippets from this Forbes article for you to try this week.:

Articulate Your Why - Why do you want to be a great leader? Is it to make your life at work more enjoyable? To develop your teammates? To have a marketable skill? Whatever your why is, post it where you can see it every minute of every day.

Get a Buddy - Find a colleague who can help hold you accountable for the changes you want to make. For instance, announce to this person that you’re finally going to have that difficult conversation with an employee and even practice before you have the meeting.

Set Short, Specific Milestones - Make them actionable. If you’re trying to improve your delegating skills, set a goal of delegating two important responsibilities over the next 10 days. Write it down and tell your buddy what you want to accomplish. Celebrate even the smallest successes and don’t beat yourself up when things aren’t perfect.

Continuity Training - This article uses the term “continuity” and we like it. The best leaders continually improve their skills. Listen to podcasts, read books, find articles on the leadership skills you want to improve. Attend group trainings that are practical and experiential with other managers to share ideas and experiences. Maybe your'll find a buddy outside of your organization.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Delegation doesn’t always go well. Difficult conversations are sometimes, well...difficult. You’re learning, you’re growing, but ultimately you’ll get to your “why” you wanted to lead in the first place. You really will build skills to help you enjoy and thrive in your career.


Ready to strengthen your culture, your team and your leaders? Call Margie Adams at 303-809-8093 or email

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