Beware of the myth of “The Natural”. It is in your face everywhere you turn. The natural:
The people who are given this label are held out to be special because they were obviously born with this talent. You are told they are gifted with a magical gene, which allows them to move through life with little effort required to excel in this area.
The myth, if you buy into it, can be deflating if you believe you were not born gifted in this area.
The myth however, is just that – a myth. If you read about the lives of the great athletes, leaders, communicators and trainers, or listen to interviews of them speaking about their life you start to get an insight into the work that went into their craft. You begin to learn about the hundreds and thousands of hours of purposeful and dedicated practice. You hear about some of the failures, rejections and struggles they experienced along their journey.
These insights are both enlightening and empowering as they unveil the reality that you can improve and grow your skills and abilities as a trainer, teacher, leader and coach. You can improve your ability to communicate your message. You can learn to tell powerful and engaging stories. You can improve your competence, confidence and “stage presence”. You can make your training more engaging. You can enhance the learning environment for those you have the privilege of training.
Here are some of the keys to accomplishing this:
- Ignore the myth of “The Natural”.
- Read Peak by Anders Ericsson and Mindset by Carol Dweck.
- Be humble enough to say, “I don’t know how to do that yet.” and then chart a course to figure it out.
- Be willing to put in the hours and do the work over the long haul.
- Get feedback through self-critique, coaches and mentors.
- Ask questions. Listen to the answers.
- Read, watch and listen to those who have done the work and achieved what you are striving for. Pay attention to the fact they are still doing the work.
- Remember the words of Jim Collins, “Regardless of what you have accomplished or achieved you are always going to be good relative to what you can become. Greatness is inherently a dynamic process, not an end state. The moment you start to this of yourself as great your slide to mediocrity will already have begun.”
The challenge to you is to do the work until you get to the point where you make being a great trainer “look natural”, and then continue to read, learn, practice, get feedback, grow and improve.
Remember the challenge from Clint Bruce in last week’s post The difference between excellent and elite – You are not done yet.
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