As a GM, you should take every opportunity you can to learn from the other side of the screen (one of my three maxims for GMs). You’ll be soaking up GMing ideas as a player even if you’re not really thinking about it — but if you make a conscious effort to learn from other GMs, it’ll happen more quickly.

That distills down to a quick GMing tip pretty nicely: When you spot a GM doing something you’re not so good at, or that you’d love to learn more about, actively observe what he does and how he does it.

This works best if you’re playing in a regular game, as you’ll have multiple opportunities to be exposed to the technique you’re trying to learn. Even if you’re at a convention event, though, there’s a decent chance you’ll see it more than once — so take notice the first time, and watch out for it (whatever it is).

It’s that conscious spark — “Hey, the way she does [X] is awesome! I want to learn how to do that.” — that sets this simple approach apart from just absorbing GMing ideas passively, through osmosis.

You probably do this already, both consciously and unconsciously, which is great. Even though I often do this automatically, though, I find it to be a useful tip to keep in mind when I play.