Learning How to Master New Skills in Your Business or Profession

Erika Andersen, in her Harvard Business Review article entitled “Managing Yourself; Learning to Learn” indicates that when it comes to staying on top of business or professional competitors, “the ability to learn faster than your competition may be the only sustainable advantage.”

One of the problems of course is that, “pushing yourself to acquire radically different capabilities – while still performing your job, requires a willingness to experiment and to become a novice again and again.”

Ms. Andersen identifies four main critical components to having this willingness to become a novice, and therefore, to be able to maintain a competitive advantage by learning faster than your competitors.

These are:

Aspiration – This is simply the desire to learn a new skill; that is, having the ambition and motivation to do so.

Self-awareness – essentially a willingness to see yourself as others see you.

Curiosity – is what makes us want to try something until we can do it, or think about something until we understand it.

Vulnerability – willingness to be be bad at something, to go back to the beginner state; very difficult for accomplished professionals and CEOs.

Psychodrama is an excellent way to prepare oneself to be a better learner.  Also, psychodrama can be used as a way to try on new roles, possible roles and impossible roles.  In trying out a new role in a psychodramatic role play, you (the protagonist) can get an idea of what it would be like to possess the skill, training or specialized knowledge, before embarking on a path to obtain it.

Psychodrama is also a great way to increase creativity and spontaneity. To become more curious, and more vulnerable.  In fact, one of the main goals of psychodrama is to remove any blocks one may have to this spontaneity and creativity.

If you are already a master as your job or profession, but your goal is to become willing to learn new skills, then engaging a psychodrama group may be a good first step.

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Patrick T. Barone is a Michigan criminal defense trial lawyer and co-founder of the Michigan Psychodrama Center. He is a Board Certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. He is also a Board Certified Psychodrama Trainer. Patrick has applied his psychodrama training in his criminal law practice and when teaching law and trial skills. He also has used sociodrama, an adjunct form of psychodrama in the business environment and Bibliodrama in the faith setting. He is the author of a chapter entitled Bringing Scripture to Life with Bibliodrama for Adam Blatner’s book entitled Action Explorations: Using Psychodramatic Methods in Non-Therapeutic Settings , (Paralax Productions, February 23, 2019). In his capacity as a business consultant, Mr. Barone has worked with business owners and executives in businesses of all sizes throughout Michigan. Additionally, Mr. Barone continues to practice law and is the founding partner and CEO at the Barone Defense Firm.