In the previous post, Practising Architectural Practice, I introduced the idea that to for architects to become better at what they do they need to practise at their architectural practice. I suggest that that might entail developing the skills they have as well as building new ones. I finished with a question, “What does it look like to practise your architectural practice?” It’s a question worth exploring.
It’s fair to say that the majority of architects simply practise on the job, they expect to get better as they go along (& most do). They build their knowledge and skills through (sometimes) hard won experience. They get better at designing, CADing, administering, etc, as they go along and in the doing thereof. Most supplement this with additional courses throughout the year, albeit ones that expand their knowledge or expertise more so than their skills. I’m certainly not here to suggest that this is a bad thing. It’s how it’s been done for decades and it works.
My concern is the lack of development of human skills (or soft skills). These are not skills taught at university, nor are they actively learnt on the job, they’re just kinda picked up as they go along, or in many cases not picked up. These are skills that I think are particularly useful for architects and include giving and receiving feedback, communication, empathy, decision making, building trust, leadership, and that’s just a start. They can be learnt and as with any skill they take practise.
I previous wrote about Repurposing Architecting Skills /1, and it’s also worth taking the time to consider and then practise these skills in new ways. By focussing on repurposing and practising skills architects already have they might find that not only do they get better at what they’re currently doing but also find ways of doing things differently and better. Perhaps Reframing the way they work.
The bottom line (or lines) here is that it’s hard to do this work of practising alone. Repurposing, improving and learning new skills is best with others. Practising and learning these skills is often best done in a workshop or through personal coaching. There are many good workshops and coaches out there, pick one that feels like a good fit, that’s most important. Oh and coincidentally… it’s also what I do here at unmeasured. I’m here to support you in building and learning these skills. Feel free to reach out at any time.
Picture by Enric Cruz López on Pexels