Perfection is something so subliminal and personal that it is hard to find an objective approach to it. That is why I never try to be perfect but that doesn’t stop be from being a perfectionist. I know how it sounds by the way but before you send me into the looney bin, think about it. Take a few minutes to read and comment, I would love that (so maybe you join me if they commit me!).
Think of your current job. Now think of the job description you were given when you first took the job. Now think about your day-to-day. I can tell you something you probably didn’t notice at first: nobody mentions trainings when describing a job, role or charter. It’s one of those things that’s cleverly hidden or not mentioned at all.
You never explain people who’s not at the job what training looks like. Your company might have an awesome training program or a lousy one but you probably never heard of it in the context of your job description. Have you thought about it?
Do you what that represents? Well, to me, that’s an opportunity. I mean, what’s better than learning at your own pace and being your own mentor? To be honest, I only developed this sense of opportunity after hitting a few walls myself. Some years ago, I didn’t think that way…and this is a short list of the most common thoughts I had around that. Tick the ones that sound familiar.
“The Company is responsible for training me”
“I can’t train myself, I don’t know what they know!”
“What do you mean, self-service?”
“If they don’t train me, why should I care?”
“Train me. I’ll do the rest”
I’m sure I’ve thought a lot more than just these but this is not a “The XX things about whatever” type of article. It’s rather an approach to how self-training and obsessing about knowledge can help you become better at what you do.
Want to know why? It’s actually really simple and I can describe it using one beautiful and complete word: Credibility.
If your car broke down, who would you trust it to? The guy who’s a in 1st year of mechanics, or the owner of a workshop? And that owner, how do you think he became an owner? Trust me, you don’t learn how to manage a workshop in mechanics school. And you don’t get trained in every model of every car vendor that’s out there: some stuff you just need to teach yourself.
All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.
I like that quote in particular because it explains not credibility per se, but about the perception that builds it for you. How are you perceived if you are not properly trained? How do you perceive the Company you work for if you don’t feel they are training you well enough? What do your customers (internal or external) think about your skills? All of this builds up or undermines your credibility.
One of the pillars on which we build up Credibility is what you know, your own knowledge. I will break that in two parts so it’s really clear. What YOU, as an individual representing not just a Company but yourself as an emissary, KNOW, as in your personal and professional encylopaedia of things you know.
If you don’t train, how do you gain knowledge? The common error is blaming the companies that hire us. Why? Mostly because we assume that if we don’t get the knowledge it’s because they are not sharing it with us…but what about self-motivation? what about drive? what about that desire, curiosity and hunger that makes simple means into great business gurus? What about you talking over your own training?
Don’t get me wrong, Companies can only benefit from training you, it’s just that doing so in a really complex and full way (as we all expect it to happen) is not easy so Companies do their best. Some are really good, some are quite the opposite but one factor remains: a Company is only as good as it’s employees make it look, and how does a Company look if it’s employees are not trained?
Even though that’s a reality, what about you? If you’re just sitting back expecting people to tell you what you do, you might miss the train. Some knowledge you can’t get on your know, but you can request it. You can go straight to your manager and ask him or her to help, train or coach you. But do you?
My biggest discovery so far is that I learn stuff faster when I teach myself how to do it. I’m not good at studying or imitating so I teach myself but some stuff I will never be able to do because well, let’s face it, I’m not that smart. All I am saying is that I learn faster when I’m the one seeking for that knowledge.
At one point I guess that’s only normal. If your out of curiosity, how can you learn? If you’re out of purpose, how can you challenge yourself to do something different or new like sitting down in front of a laptop and going through a 3 hour training on a product?
I am only writing this after almost a full week of attending / delivering some training to younger, more avid minds in Cary, NC. I am amazed by the speed of their thoughts and their willingness to learn, as I am surprised by the thick yet somewhat warm-looking layer of fresh snow that’s slowly and silently covering everything, layer by layer until all that’s left is a perfect, alluring white.
Isn’t that the perfect analogy for knowledge?
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