Want To Get Better At Something? Start Modelling

No, I don’t mean the kind of modelling that requires you to be a size zero, I’m talking about the kind of modelling that helps you to learn better ways of doing certain things. I’ll start to make sense in a moment, trust me, just keep reading.

Do you ever wish you could be better at influencing other people to agree with your point of view? Maybe you think you could be better at networking, or something else, for whatever reason. It doesn’t really matter what this thing is that you want to improve; modelling is a tried and tested method of improving your current way of doing things.


It’s basically copying someone else who’s already good or even brilliant at whatever it is that you want to achieve so that you can get the results you want. We do this as children so naturally, yet for some reason, we turn into adults and forget all about it.


This is so simple and I love it as it’s something you can do very quickly to see an impact. I love results!

Step 1 – Be clear about exactly what it is that you want to improve, e.g. effective networking skills or chairing meetings.

Step 2 – Identify someone who you know is really good at the thing you want to improve on. If you don’t know anyone, ask around. He or she will only be a connection or two away so it’s about asking others.

Step 3 – Watch this person in action. Observe the small details around how they go about doing this thing, e.g if they’re great at networking, check out the way that they approach people, the questions they ask, the things they talk about, their body language and the way they flow with the conversation. Equally, notice the things they don’t do. Look out for the things that you know you could improve on and make a mental note or write down these nuances that you’ve picked up on.

Step 4 – For best results, speak to this person about this skill they have and ask them how they do it. Note that often, people will say ‘ I just do it’. If this happens, probe further and ask them more specific questions such as ‘what goes through your mind as you…’ or ‘how do you handle it when such and such happens’. Between observing them and speaking with them directly, you’ll pick up on key points that you can take away to focus on

Step 5 – Put your observations into practice. Don’t feel silly about this. Yes, you’re blatantly copying someone else but be yourself and tweak anything that’s just not you so that you’re genuine and feel comfortable. The last thing you want is to come across as some Jekyll and Hyde woman who switched up overnight!

Step 6 – Lastly, a key part of the learning cycle is to reflect on your actions and identify what went well and understand why it went well. If it went well, repeat. If you didn’t get the desired results, think about what you can do differently next time and just test it. Enlist the input of a trusted other for advice (ideally this person who’s great in this area).

Model away!

Speak soon x

Tamaan WilkinsonComment