Getting Comfortable with a New Skill or Topic

Performance Coaching Basics

How do you learn something new? Can you help others learn and develop as well? Performance coaching boosts learning and helps develop people so leaders can stay focused.

How do you go from hearing about something for the first time to feeling comfortable with it? How does the initial uncertainty make you feel? Many of us feel discomfort with things we don’t know. Depending on your outlook, you might get anxious, angry, defensive, frustrated, fearful, embarrassed or just curious when faced with something new.

The more aware you can be of your own tendencies in these situations, the better. You may see yourself. These unconscious emotional reactions often create barriers to learning, growth and innovation. So noticing your tendencies, you can make a conscious effort to counteract them.

Where this gets particularly challenging is when a new topic comes up that impacts the work of a team. The leader has some important choices to make at that point. Do you want to learn this and share it? Do you want one or a group of others to learn it and share it? How will you fit the new knowledge into the current game plan?

For me with new topics, I often either tend to hide out and hope it won’t matter (has worked a few times, but not often) or push myself to dig in and study up. Industry 4.0 was one I was hiding from until a client project forced me to realize it’s the future. So have now been actively working to learn and understand it more completely.

Sometimes making the effort to learn a new topic or skill can be overwhelming. One of the greatest gifts one of my coaches taught me is that doing it myself is not the only – and often not the best – way to get up to speed on something new (or to accomplish that additional task). I can ask for help.

Sounds basic, but think about your own style. Do you like to be the one in control? Do you notice that you get uncomfortable when someone is doing something you could be doing – but a different way? Many of us have issues with control, and it’s not healthy for us – or for those around us.

Sometimes, someone else already knows about a topic that is new for me. Other times, I realize that learning this new thing will actually help that other person develop in their knowledge and career path. Not to mention, it keeps me out of overwhelm mode.

So if you or someone you know wants to lead in a way that is more collaborative, gets the others on a team more engaged, and accelerates the team’s success and learning, try a coaching approach. I talked about this last month.

Since then, what my co-host Jonathan and I realized is that many people don’t really know what performance coaching is. So we’re offering a free teleseminar, Performance Coaching Basics, to explain.

Once you understand more what it is (and is not) I’ll be interested to hear your feedback. Please join us on January 12 if you can – or get the recording later if you cannot be there live.

In this fast-changing world, we need everyone on our teams to be ready to learn new topics and new skills. Having the ability to support others as they learn, grow and find solutions to their issues is proven to be a leadership skill that matters.

Are you comfortable with performance coaching?


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