Is following directions a talent/skill?
Ship It Post #
Dec 7, 2021
I feel that I am good at following instructions. Contrary to the stereotype of the man who builds furniture or operates a device without reading the manual, I love following the "algorithm" to get things to work properly. It makes things easier, and less likely that I'll mess something up or miss something. I can also learn the ins and outs of what all the functions do.
I would say this started when I was young. I would be LEGO sets exactly as the instructions directed. I didn't understand a friend who tried building his LEGO sets by looking at the final picture on the box and leaving it unfinished with leftover pieces.
I would also read video game manuals, trying to learn every single move or item in order to beat the game or get an advantage over opponents.
I wonder if this is also partially due to religious indoctrination as a child. I was taught to "trust and obey" the rules of authority and holy book.
Anyway, I am detail-oriented. This is helpful when I'm googling how to do something on the computer, in an app, or getting programs to work.
I'm bad at reading maps and having a sense of direction, but good at following GPS that tells me exactly where to go, as if it was a video game map HUD.
With my computer coaching, I find that many of my clients tend to be bad at reading and following instructions. Perhaps they find them overwhelming, and tend to skim past or skip them. Or they don't have the focus to sit down and go through them step-by-step.
They also tend to be the creative types, and may not function well with a rigid structure of rules. They're not as obsessive-compulsive as I am when it comes to details. We both have our strengths and weaknesses, and I get paid to help them where they lack.
Thinking back on my legos, I tried building my own creations, but they were not all that impressive. I tended to spend more time taking apart and rebuilding the pre-set models, even memorizing the steps.
There should be a balance of following all the rules and trying to experiment and create your own rules.
I'm good at googling and tinkering and figuring stuff out both on my own and by reading others' instructions. Some people need to be taught directly by another person and shown over and over how to do something before it clicks.
Following directions could be a talent, but it's also a skill that can be developed.