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73 SKILL-BUILDING STRATEGIES Following are several strategies that will help you to build your skills. Check those you plan to begin using. D ASK FOR FEEDBACK AND ADVICE Co-workers and friends see you in ways you don't see yourself. They see you in a more detached way. Ask others what they think you might do to improve your effectiveness at work. Listen to what they say and take advantage of their experience and advice. D FIND ROLE MODELS One of the most effective ways to learn is by watching and copying others. Identify people who are skilled at what you wish to learn. If you can't find anyone on your job or in your personal life, join a club or association, take a course to find role models, or study characters in books or films. D COACH YOURSELF The best teachers are coaches. Coaches use good management techniques. Coaches set reachable targets and praise progress. Coaches give feedback on areas needing improvement and set small-step objectives for the next shot at the target. Coaches are encouraging and supportive. Be your own coach. D TALK YOURSELF THROUGH One of the difficulties in learning a complex skill is that we must do so many different things at the same time. Talking yourself through helps with coordination and keeps you on track. D FIND A PRACTICE LAB Practice is essential in skill building. Identify situations in which you can practice, then actively place yourself in situations that will demand that you use the skill. Set yourself up to win. Begin with easy situations. Sometimes this can be done as a hobby or activity away from the workplace. D ASSOCIATE WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SKILL Without realizing it, we tend to act like people we spend time with. We pick up their mannerisms, styles or speech, accents and even values. Use this tendency to change yourself. Identify people who are the way that you would like to be and arrange to be around them. This might include social clubs, professional associations, sports groups, work teams-even hangouts.