Friday, 19 February 2010

Broaden Your Skill Set to Achieve Greater Success, Part 1 of 2

The depth and range of your skills will help to determine how well you deal with the challenges you face in life. This doesn't mean that you should strive to be a jack of all trades. It's often better to delegate or outsource certain tasks but even delegating and outsourcing are skills you have to learn how to do effectively. Therefore to achieve greater success in your personal as well as professional life you need to broaden your skill set.

Another reason you need to broaden your skill set is to keep pace with our rapidly changing world. The world is evolving at a dizzying pace and, if you're not flexible enough to evolve with it, you'll simply get left behind.

People often erroneously think that more successful people have fewer problems to deal with. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, they often have more and bigger problems to deal with but, to their advantage they generally have a bigger skill set with which to deal with any problems that they encounter. So while in some cases they may have more resources to apply to a particular problem, because they have a broader skill set they are also more resourceful.

However, here's a story that acutely demonstrates how injurious failing to broaden your skill set can be.

Caroline Myss opened one of her keynote speeches with, what was very clearly a painful and personal story about her younger brother. At the time, she had just learnt that he was receiving treatment for drug withdrawal. In case you may be thinking that he was a drug addict let me hasten to tell you that he was not - at least not in the conventional sense.

Her brother sought the help of a psychiatrist to help him overcome an anxiety problem he was experiencing. The psychiatrist prescribed medication and following other subsequent monthly 15-minute consultations continued to prescribe more and more drugs for this man who was supposed to be in her care. The situation reached a climax when he was taking 17 different drugs a day, twice a day.

You don't need a medical degree to deduce that instead of getting better both the mental and physical health of this individual declined rapidly and drastically. And, sadly, you may know of similar stories for this is far too prevalent in our society today.

The irksome thing is that this man didn't even need drugs in the first place. He needed, for want of a better term, coaching. With skilful coaching he could have worked through the issues he was facing. It might have been a painful experience but it could have been made exciting and liberating. And I'm not talking about a process that stretches on for months or even years - we've come too far for that type of approach where, instead of healing people simply end up wallowing in their pain.

This psychiatrist decided to treat this man's symptoms by numbing them and then, when that didn't work, she simply prescribed more and more drugs to numb other symptoms and counteract the side effects that the initial drugs were causing.

She had one primary tool and she used it relentlessly. For as Abraham Maslow said:

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."

This story is extreme. In fact, I find it disturbing but it does demonstrate the critical importance of broadening your skill set.

But this story doesn't end here. I'll share the conclusion in Part 2. Meanwhile, do take advantage of the following...

FREE Resource

For a FREE report that reveals how your lack of skills is preventing you from achieving greater success visit Broaden Your Skill Set and discover how you can achieve greater success.

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