FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Todd Wangsgard | Relevance
I recently read an article in the 2010 Spring issue of USA Triathlon Life by the same title. One of the new rules not only caught my attention because it truly was new to me, but also because of its relevance in the workplace. Here’s an actual excerpt:
“Train in all directions and all planes. Yes, specificity of training still rules (in other words, if you want to run well, you have to practice running). But the paradoxical truth is that training in all planes (rotational, frontal, and transverse) helps you be more efficient in the sagittal plane (the front-and-back plane in which we bike and run). Basically, ‘3-dimensional’ training creates connections that rehearse the little inefficiencies out of your run.”
What does that even mean?
Many of us are “running” in our jobs, each and every day. And most of us have learned to run faster and stronger in that same “sagittal plane,” from front to back. We increase our efficiency with time management techniques. We study best practices of others in order to do more with less. Yet we may be overlooking less obvious opportunities to strengthen in other dimensions (rotational, frontal, transverse) by learning related yet non-traditional skills or by challenging our acumen with a test of the untested.
For example, whereas a runner can potentially strengthen his balance and stride by adding yoga to his workout regimen, a manager who traditionally focuses on clarifying purpose, inspiring trust, aligning systems, and unleashing talent (see FranklinCovey’s Great Leaders curriculum) could benefit from honing more tangential skills such as listening, negotiating, decision-making, and the like. These can help you “rehearse the little inefficiencies out of your run.”
Don’t get stuck in a rut. View the contribution you are making in your job as 3-dimensional. Over time, you’re much less likely to “trip-up,” when you’ve strengthened your understanding and abilities in a variety of areas, not just in those directly related to your primary job. Not to mention, you’ll become more valuable to the organization, as they consider who possesses the ability to see them through tough times.