How to Improve Your Handwriting
What if your handwriting still looked exactly the way it did the first time you picked up a pencil? Maybe it does. Maybe that’s why you started reading this article. Your handwriting today may not be beautiful, but likely it’s legible, so maybe you, like me, just enjoy opportunities to take what’s acceptable and make it exceptional.
So here’s the thing, I can tell you how to improve your handwriting, but you already know. By this point in your life, you know improvement requires effort. Whether it’s your handwriting, your sales approach, or your cooking skills, the magic behind greatness is really quite simple:
- Set a goal
- Determine a process
- Hold yourself accountable
I can almost hear the, “ugh,” you’re thinking as you read. Yep, it’s that easy. And yep, it’s that hard.
With a little bit of instruction, a desire to learn, and some practice, at some point in your life you learned to write the letters of the alphabet. Today, you could sit down and write a letter, sign your name, or jot down a grocery list without much effort at all. What was immensely challenging in kindergarten is now second nature. You’ve improved.
You started with a goal in mind: “I want to learn to write the letter A.” With the help of a guideline, such as a template you can trace or special paper that helps you draw the lines a little straighter, you make an attempt. Then you do it again, and again, and again. Then, your parent or teacher comes by and checks your work. He or she might make a suggestion or offer a critique and ask you to try again. Goal, process, accountability.
Our whole lives are made up of cycles of improvement. Most of us aren’t world class Olympians the first time we put on a pair of skis or dive into a pool, but the second time we do it, we’re all a little better than we were. Most of us didn’t double the revenue of our companies the first day on the job, but after a couple of weeks, months and years, the impacts we make are valuable. Continuous improvement comes into play when you find that thing you have a real talent for, or you see great purpose in, and you want to get good, better, best at it.
The Garland Chamber staff and board of directors recently completed a continuous improvement exercise that lasted about nine months. For more than 120 years, the Chamber has been in town serving the business community, but we certainly don’t do it the same way we did in 1895. You know, because sitting still is dangerous. Have you heard people say, “Sitting is the new smoking”? The same is true in business. There’s value in tradition and consistency, absolutely, but in an ever-changing society improvement and innovation are also necessary. Those who stay in exactly the same place doing exactly the same thing won’t stay relevant for long.
Each person who participated in the Chamber’s continuous improvement exercise was stretched, challenged, and pulled out of their comfort zone in one way or another. We also learned new things, took on projects that interested us, and developed confidence in diverse responsibilities. Though the formal process has ended, we’ve developed positive habits and lines of collaboration that will continue to serve our process and accountability structures well. Despite the rigor of the exercise, and perhaps even the stress or frustration that snuck in at times, the whole team is proud of what we accomplished. Our organization is better equipped to serve the Garland community than we were at the same time last year, and we’ll use what we learned and the critiques we expect to receive to fine tune our activities and continuously improve.
- We set a goal: Earn recognition as a 5-star accredited chamber through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2018.
- We determined a process: Engage members of the Board of Directors to serve on the Accreditation Task Force to guide, contribute and oversee the application process and any steps necessary to complete eligibility.
- We held ourselves accountable: Application status reports were delivered at each Board of Directors meeting. Throughout the process, industry and subject-matter experts were brought in to evaluate and critique elements of the organization. Once the application is processed, the accrediting board will also provide feedback.
We don’t yet know whether we’ve met our goal, but we have certainly improved during the journey, and in the pursuit of continuous improvement, that’s what it’s all about. Now we’ll set new goals, develop the relevant processes, and hold ourselves accountable to even higher standards than before. Every day is an opportunity to take your skills to the next level … or, you know, improve your handwriting!All News