The Success of Mimicking
Last week, I received an email from an educational company that asked the Grown Up Truth the following question: What skill helped you after graduation? It took me some time to develop my response considering many of the tricks that I know have come from my personal adult life experiences. These tricks can be explained but never fully cherished until you comprehend your new professional environment. However, there is one trick that we learned in the elementary school sandbox that is easily forgotten. Who would have thought that the lessons you learned from your Play-Doh eating days would affect your life as a 20-something?
One of the most important aspects of young professional development is pure observation. As a child, you learn everything from observation. You watch the way the older kids communicate and you want to talk just like them. Television advertisements tell you about the current toy trend and you beg your parents for one. The most trendy pop tart flavor is decided by something unknown but you probably have it in your lunchbox. So why not use observation to your advantage in the workplace?
I always instruct people to watch how leaders interact with each other in the workplace. Notice the types of clothing that your VP wears and how he/she cares themselves in the office. Pay attention to the idioms and words leaders use in meetings. Become the leader that you want to be by mimicking the leaders that you admire. Most people do not become leaders based on their specific work skill but rather how they can mobilize groups of people and support their teams. Leadership and success is just as emotional as tactful.
Make mental notes around the people that you might not enjoy as much. How do these people make you feel and what causes that feeling? It is just as important to identify the behaviors that you want to mimic as identifying the behaviors that you do not want to develop.
Observation is a powerful tool. Use it and begin crafting your success with positive habits found in the leadership around you. Remember, you are not the first person who wants to be at the top, so why not learn from the people that have successfully completed the legwork. There are just some skills that people can’t articulate, but they can show you every day.
**Webucator is an online platform that gives virtual classes on software that many young professionals use in their daily job functions including Microsoft Office and Adobe Applications. Take a look at their site for class schedules!