Tips for Stronger: Work for Your Skill
As a high school student in the first decade of the 2000s, I had the privilege of spending a lot of time in the labs in my high school. While my activities at school gave me opportunity to learn additional sciences and speak with respected physicists, I remember how valuable it was to me when peers took the time to take criticism.
After a particularly poorly performed experiment by one of my teachers, I heard comments that I could not imagine coming from another student. Through this experience, I began to better understand how one person’s self-criticism can consistently improve the work of others.
Some students must learn to show their strengths by mentioning the things they’re really good at—for example, “my last line was beautiful” rather than, “my major problem is geometry.” Sometimes, making self-criticism part of learning experiences sets students up for success later in life. The character-building lesson that great minds think alike is itself useful when teaching students how to hone their own skills. And then, of course, there is the basic principle that practicing makes perfect.
“Intangible skills, such as intuitiveness, flexibility, and self-criticism, are the ‘soft skills’ that enable us to do well in the workplace and contribute to our well-being,” explains Allen Hartzell, an assistant professor of philosophy at Florida State University.
The idea that character and attitudes help define success should not surprise us, since character and attitudes have been shown to predict long-term happiness and prosperity. People with higher character and attitudes tend to work and succeed more effectively than those with lower character and attitudes.
So, here are five techniques that will lead students to better work.