When you want to learn a new skill, how do you usually go about it? Learn first and then practice? If that’s your method for becoming a genius you’re on the right track, but you’re only half way to becoming a Legendary Master.
Psychologist, Dr Anders Ericsson did a study revealing that those who practiced a skill for at least 10,000 hours were more successful than those who didn’t. No surprises there as “practice makes perfect” right? Well… to a point.
Emotional Intelligence expert and Psychologist, Daniel Goleman explains the problem with this single method:
“Ten thousand hours of practice may or may not bring you to the top of your game, and the reason is this: if you are a so-so golfer and you have a so-so golf stroke and you practice that golf stroke in a so-so way, in 10,000 hours you are still going to have the same poor golf stroke,” Daniel Goleman
Here at UQ Power, we believe that success is driven by four keys: Vision, Body, Intelligence Quotient (IQ), and Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence or EQ). (We call this the UQ Power House). And when it comes to powering up your IQ muscle, it takes more than repetition to build strength.
Focus is key to boosting your IQ
As we’ve become more digitally connected, we’ve also become more distracted. We suffer from multi-tasking and undertake it with a matter of pride. Even when we’re performing just a single action, our brain remains in multi-task mode; distracted by other thoughts, sensations, and mental to-do lists.
Continual multi-tasking has led our brains to reconfigure its neurons (the “hardwiring that sends messages”) to cope with only that sort of thinking. So when it comes time to focus… well… we simply can’t.
To become a true master of any skill, you need to focus when you practise. No distractions, no mental checks of what you need to do afterwards – full, present focus.
“Learning how to improve any skill also requires top-down focus. Neuroplasticity, the strengthening of old brain circuits and building of new ones for a skill we are practicing, requires our paying attention. When practice occurs while we are focusing elsewhere, the brain does not rewire the relevant circuitry for that particular routine.
Daydreaming defeats practice; those of us who browse TV while working out will never reach the top ranks. Paying full attention seems to boost the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, and expand or create neural networks for what we are practicing,” Dr Goleman.
Feedback makes perfect
When your golf swing is consistently causing the ball to veer left, it’s time to get expert feedback. A skilled golfing coach can tell you that you’re stance is affecting your swing and that you need to practice standing with your shoulders in alignment to your feet.
While you may learn a new skill quickly and easily, it’s likely that you’ll plateau. To get past it and to continually improve, you need feedback to help you see where your opportunities are and how you can strengthen your game.
In business, a team that performs well consistently still needs feedback. Progression and continual improvement will only happen if the team has an objective view of opportunities and strengths from which they can leverage.
How is your game? Is it time for you to get some feedback and guidance?
Here’s a story of how UQ Power helped McCulloch Robertson lift their game, increasing their cash flow by half a million dollars within a month.