new to experts

Developing technically competent individuals - why you should invest in non technical skills.

Feb 12, 2018 Author: Colin Litherland

Being technically competent is often seen as the pinnacle in our working lives. Having the ability to answer almost any question based on a sound understanding of what we have to do has become something to strive for because people have pride in their working knowledge. So, when it comes to those who are technically competent, how do we help them develop and grow?

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People will always have their own take on this complicated question, but whilst you ponder it can I offer you a potential solution? Non-technical skills - the personal and cognitive tools that can, and often do support and underpin technical know-how.

Non-technical skills can be prejudged as a broad woolly term that can encapsulate many areas, so let's start this journey by outlining just three areas...

* Attention
* Perception
* Decision making

So, let’s start with attention.

Attention according to Wikipedia is the behavioural and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information. It all sounds very grand, so let's consider that it's just about how much "stuff" we take in through our senses.
However, and there is always a however, research suggests that we have no control of what we pay attention to. If attention is a glass or a cup, research would suggest that it's always full regardless of if we see, hear, feel, smell, touch, or even think - our attention glass is always 100% full. When we concentrate on something important we fill our glass with "stuff" that is pertinent to what we are doing. But when we aren't so busy, when we have time to kill, when we can turn off our focus we fill our attention glass with anything - the music in the background, the thought of a holiday, our family and friends, the unpaid bills - almost anything.

So how do we pay more attention and focus on the important information? One theory is that to fully pay attention we must learn to suspend judgement, because when we judge something we are generally assessing how quickly we can fix it and move on.

What are your thoughts? How have you learned to “pay more attention”?

 

Partner Electronics Ltd approached The New to Experts because they were able to offer a bespoke programme that would meet our companies training needs and would work alongside us in developing and coaching our staff. One thing I liked was their openness to discuss our needs and to make the training bespoke and reactive to our company and individuals. Partner Electronics have found the experience a valuable process in developing our team skills especially around communicating with others and coaching.

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