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It’s worth bearing in mind some of the following tips when looking to acquire and master new skills:


1. Create a schedule with fixed study times
Creating structure for your study plan makes it much quicker and easier to acquire and master new skills.

Choose a time that fits in with your natural daily routine. For example, morning people get the most out of study by starting early. Others only pick up steam later in the day, in which case it’s best to plan study time in the afternoon.


2. Get feedback
To put new skills into practice as effectively as possible, it’s essential to get regular feedback. Good feedback allows you to reflect more deeply, which is vital to the learning process.

Take the time every day to reflect on the progress you’re making. What went well? What do you want to improve on next time? Self-reflection strengthens your personal growth and allows you to monitor your progress.


3. Start with core skills
If you have little prior knowledge about a new skill you’re about to learn, it can all seem a bit daunting.

Most skills consist of core skills (core competences) and secondary skills. But what’s the difference? The core skills are essential to learning a new skill, whereas secondary skills are useful, but not essential to mastering this skill.

For example, to become a writer, mastery of a language is a core skill, whereas marketing is a secondary skill. We recommend starting with the core skills.


4. Take things step by step
Acquiring and mastering a new skill is often a long and complex process. That’s why it’s worth your while splitting it into a series of smaller steps. Setting milestones like this also helps you monitor the progress you’re making.


5. Learn from other people’s experience
The key to humankind’s success has been its ability to build and improve on other people’s inventions and experiences. This applies equally to acquiring and mastering new skills. Who do you know with the relevant experience and the skills you’re looking to acquire? Do they have any tips for you? And what pitfalls should you be on the lookout for?


6. Learn from experts
Study the experts in your relevant field. Who are the authorities? Why are they so good and what makes them authorities in their subject area? Capitalize on this and use their tricks, tips, experience, and knowledge to expand your skill set.


7. Find a mentor
Perhaps there’s a senior employee in your organization who could mentor you towards mastery of a specific skill. Ask them whether they’d be prepared to fulfill this role. Most people are more than willing to help and will gladly share their knowledge with others.


8. Set realistic goals
Set tangible and realistic goals for yourself. Don’t make them too big or insurmountable. This often has a demotivating effect or stops you in your tracks before you even start! Acquiring and mastering new skills involves setting realistic, positive, and challenging goals that inspire you each and every day.


9. Take action
A skill is more than just theoretical knowledge. Although theory may form the basis, acquiring and mastering new skills ultimately involves putting theory into practice. Learning by doing is vital to mastering or honing your skills.


10. Know thyself
Last, but by no means least, a modicum of self-insight can help enormously. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What qualities, talents, and character traits do you have to help you learn a specific skill? Asking yourself these questions generates the insight required to learn more effectively.

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