Building the skill of ... aiming high

The idea of there being a set of essential skills which we should all work on isn’t too difficult to get your head around; it’s easy to see why most of us need good speaking and listening skills for example. However, some of the skills that form part of the Skills Builder Framework, like ‘Aiming High’ for example, can be more difficult to pin down. If you are a technician, does an ability to ‘aim high’ matter day-to-day?

The short answer is yes; aiming high as an approach results in ambitious (but hopefully mostly achievable) goals being set. That’s not to say you will get the right result or achieve the desired outcome on the very first attempt.

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you'll hit the bull's-eye of success."

Annie Oakley

Effective planning is what is at the heart of being able to aim high. And technicians across sectors are well versed at making plans to achieve goals, while also being adaptable and resilient enough to deal with changes in circumstances.

Jamie is used to aiming high in his job working on developing ‘lean continuous improvement’ strategies for Smiths, a company that specialises in innovation in engineering. However, when Smiths was asked to work on the ‘Ventilator Challenge’ as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he had to put all his current plans and goals on hold and shift his focus on aiming for something that would be truly lifesaving.

The team I work in is playing a vital role in optimising our production lines and changing the way we work so that we become more efficient, enabling the business to increase ventilator output, from 20-30 a week to hundreds a week. This all helps in the global fight against COVID-19 and meeting customer demand for our lifesaving products.

Dominka, like Jamie, is a technician whose skill of aiming high makes her another lifesaver. She works on research for treatments for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

The drive to get everything done as quickly as possible - to the highest standards each time - is really satisfying. Whenever there is human life involved, you must be diligent and make accurate records. It’s really rewarding knowing that thanks to your work, patients receive safe treatments that will help to save lives in the long-run.

The key thing to remember when working on this skill is not to let a fear of failure prevent you from aiming high. As the one and only Oprah Winfrey says: “I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.”

Visit the Skills Builder Framework to find out how you can work on aiming high.

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