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The Stage - Personal skills part 2


When you are in a play you must concentrate otherwise your actions could ruin the performance.
It’s similar in a business setting. To be able to call on high levels of concentration is extremely useful.
Being able to do this whilst rapidly moving from one task to the next is excellent.

Concentration is a valuable asset to cultivate.
It can be used to improve your listening skills.
Listen (see Communication – part 1) well, don’t interrupt, don’t formulate your answer before the other person has finished.
If you can listen in a positive manner two way communication will be much improved.

Another area requiring concentration is in meditation which will improve relaxation and help to alleviate stress.
When you are feeling in good health and your energy levels are high motivation naturally rises.


If you take a careful interest in other people you will get to know them a lot better and from this knowledge will be better placed to motivate them.

This sort of observation can be done when you are talking to the person or at a later date when you mentally review the events. Be careful when you are speaking to a person face to face that your observations are not intrusive and that they do not detract from listening.

Much of this sort of observation can be covered by why?, what? and how?

Why? (does the person)

  • Carry out the action
  • Move in a particular way

What? (does/is the person)

  • Feeling and really saying
  • Want
  • Similarities and differences do we have
  • Motivates and challenges the person
  • Would interest the person
  • Personal issues are there and how is it affecting work

How? (is/are/do the person)

  • Words and actions differ

You could consider generating other questions that you feel are relevant to your own experiences.
Understanding the feelings and actions of others is paramount in the theatre as it is in other areas of life.
Much of this we do without a rigorous system to follow. The system makes you more aware of the similarities and differences.

Development training ideas

There are many ways to try to encourage improvement in skills leading to better motivation.

Coaching (see Coaching – part 1) and mentoring (see Mentors) is very common but perhaps not as well used as it could be.

Seminars whether internal or external. Internal have the advantage of being more focussed on the organisational issues.
External workshops allow you to practice scenarios in a neutral environment.

Talks based upon practical experience are naturally useful but actually having a go, whether in a workshop or on the job, is invaluable.

Job swapping for an extended period of time or for a short afternoon in job shadowing.

Providing new responsibilities, for example, being given a small budget.
Providing additional or new challenges.

Attending various senior / progress / strategic meetings, preferably as an active member rather than merely an observer.
Seeking and observing best practice.
Business persons might find involving themselves in or using a theatre company quite rewarding.
Leadership (see The Complete Leadership package) principles are based upon the motivation of others.