Skill Decomposition

Timothy Kenny
A free video tutorial from Timothy Kenny
Author of "Accelerated Learning for Entrepreneurs"
4.2 instructor rating • 82 courses • 126,930 students

Lecture description

Learn how to deconstruct a skill so that you can train each piece separately.

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34:52:30 of on-demand video • Updated December 2019

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English [Auto] In this video we're going to talk about skill composition. This is one of the most difficult things to do and it's the area where you're most in need of a trainer. But if you can't find one then the next best step is to deconstruct it yourself. And so one of the first things you're going to look for is stuff like once you have you're the person that you're modeling and or the people that you're modeling and an idea of what success looks like is you want to see if there's any sort of documentary or interviews or things especially stuff in magazines or on YouTube where they've talked or DVDs where they've talked about how they do things. And so you're going to start off with a bunch of different ideas that don't have any cohesion to them. From different sources and they don't necessarily all fit within one framework. But that's what you're moving towards you're moving towards understanding everything within one framework. And that's as I said before why you want to go to especially academic sources but also google images. It's one of the best places to find frameworks when you search for stuff like charts mind maps diagrams system. So you just do any of these keywords and then plus the domain where the name of the skill because people tend to put these systems these frameworks into images. That's what makes the most sense. And your job is to figure out how do I fit all of these different factoids and and some of them are just going to be hinting at things and you're going to have to make your best guess. One thing that you can do is look at neighboring skills to get neighboring skills if you're learning pen tapping. You might look at percussion drumming You might also look at how you practice piano. How do you practice violin. And if you can't find a lot of information about the specific skill that you're trying to learn what you do is you look at well what are the neighboring skills and what are the commonalities. And how they practice and the frameworks they use now sometimes those frameworks are not going to be great. Sometimes those frameworks are going to be old fashioned and they're not going to take into consideration certain skills or they're going to be heavily biased. So for example jazz really heavily improvisers emphasizes improv whereas most of Western music favors recorded and planned performance. And there's a huge difference in skills and in developing skills between being a great improviser and learning the patterns they're required to do stuff on the spot and just performing something that's been heavily planned. So if you choose to use a framework for example that's all that recorded music but your real goal is to be able to improv then that's a major mistake. So you want to be aware that there are these and this is what I was talking about earlier. Cultural bias and this is something that jazz which is a descendant of African music and African systems of both music and dance is based on the cultural use of music being so different than how it was being used at similar times in the west cause there to be this big difference. And so you have to be aware of those cultural level differences because if you're not then you're going to make you're going to be blind to some really interesting innovations and African music has had a lot of influence on American pop music over the last at least 50 years probably the last hundred years. So if you're if you're not paying attention to these sort of cultural differences then you're going to be missing a lot sometimes. So you're looking at neighboring skills how they're decomposed and that's going to start to give you an idea of where you see in a neighboring skill things are decomposed like this and you start to think to yourself well this is really similar to this. So I could put that here. I could put that there. You sort of start to fill in the blanks and at the beginning you had nowhere to put red and you start to realize OK Red could kind of I could see red fitting in there I could see red fitting in there. And by process of elimination you can start to sketch a framework together for yourself of how to decompose these skills. So you start off with with it you already have your list you start to look for evidence of how your your top performers or experts learn to their skill how they decompose it how they think about it in their mind. And then you look for neighboring skills how those are decompose and through a process of mixing and matching and process of elimination as well as using these sources to find frameworks you can synthesize multiple frameworks to a certain extent you just have to really immerse yourself in the different systems and frameworks that out that are out there look for which ones seem to be the most similar and can give you the best structure and then match those together. And that's what's going to get you the best skill decomposition you're going to be able to get which at the end of the day should look like a tree. So the final skill is at the top and then you're decomposing it into OK what are the subscales And what are the subscales within that and certain things are going to be foundational. So it may just be like for the pen typing example that I gave just doing something faster. And that's something that's great because it has a has a metric to it so you can say can I perform this pattern of how fast can you do that. Can you do that at 4 x slow mo 8 x 2 x normal speed 1.5. Slow mo. So that gives you a really great metric that you can track and chart over time. So there's going to be certain fundamentals that you want to identify those fundamentals tend to be things that are simple enough that they're easy to to attach a metric to. Once you get into more complex skills those are going to be harder to attach a metric to. But when you get to that level you're already getting to the level of being intermediate to advanced. So this at the beginning oftentimes you're just going to be focused on doing a lot of repetitions so that you have full access in your your mind and you basically achieve unconscious competence of the fundamentals which will allow you to be more creative or to focus on more subtle things. OK. So we were talking about we were talking about Salzer negotiation public speaking earlier for public speaking. You need to be really great. You need to have such a command over what you're going to say that you can spend most of your energy or your focus this is on what you're going to say and this is on how you're going to say it what the audience is thinking feeling. Being able to really interact as opposed to just spouting off and having it be a one sided conversation. So those fundamentals have to be rock solid so that you can put all of your focus on either minor things so that you can really achieve excellence by by tweaking those more subtle things or other stuff like being creative improv or just performing in the moment. So your final Your final exercise for this is on a single piece of paper have a tree like this that shows what are those foundational skills. How are you combining those into categories and then how do those ultimately link up to the final result that you're looking for. So for the pen tapping for example one of those might be having a notation system so I know exactly what I'm supposed to play. Another one would be OK what are the main movements that I need to learn in order to do to do each of those moves. And and what are my metrics for doing that. So you're decomposing the skill and you're building up to. OK that would be doing my first song building on top of that might be okay once I do two or three songs then a separate level will be improv. And being able to improvise instead of just copying somebody else's performance. So you build up over time and you decide OK what's going to be a good project or what's going to be a good way to actually implement and use these skills as you develop them. And we're going to be talking more about that in the rest of the section.