I can remember so clearly getting the results back from Strength Finder back in my Red Bull days and being disappointed that 'positivity' and 'woo' had made my top five. Don't get me wrong, I knew they were great qualities to have but seriously, of all the things I could be amazing at, that was it?
I was desperate for the heavyweights of 'discipline' and 'achiever' but alas, it seemed I was just a gal who saw the glass half full.
As I developed into a manager I continued to discount these skills and when I'd receive feedback about making people feel great and do great work, I'd think, "it's jut because they like me."
It wasn't until I started working with a coach myself that I realised being able to make others feel good is one hell of a skill and whilst it came so naturally to me I didn't even really recognise it as one, it was going secret to my success.
But, how did I unlock the power of my soft skills?
I got clear on what they were.
In maximising my soft skills, I knew I had to first to figure out exactly what they were.
I started by conducting a skills audit - it's not as boring as it sounds, trust me. I wrote a huge list of all the things I'm good at and then looked at if these could be grouped in anyway.
Aha - communication, emotional intelligence, resilience and positivity (really should have seen that one coming).
Then, I started paying attention to what others said about me - a tip I got from the amazing Ruby Lee. What was the feedback I received regularly? What were the words people always used to describe me? What were people always asking me?
This sounds a little self serving but it's a really good way of getting outside of your own head to get a more objective view of yourself. Plus, as soft skills come so naturally, they can be hard for us to see but so obvious to those around us.
I reframed how I thought about my soft skills.
I knew I had to start thinking differently about my soft skills and start valuing them as highly as other skills like strategy and writing.
I spent some time journaling about what these skills meant to me; they were skills I'd always had, skills that were sometimes hard to describe + hard to teach and skills that were unique to me. They were my 'soul skills.'
I knew I had to start thinking differently about my soft skills and start valuing them as highly as other skills like strategy and writing. They became my soul skills.
I puffed my chest out a little further when I thought about my soul skills. By changing the internal chatter around them I gave them power and quickly grew my confidence in sharing these with others.
I found ways in and around work to use them.
I thought about my role as a manager and looked for new opportunities to support my team outside of hard skill development. I scheduled more regular catch ups, made changes to our annual review process and hosted a lunch n learn on 'Resilience in the Workplace'.
I also decided to up skill myself by studying Life + Career Coaching. This turbo charged my soul skills and opened me up to a whole new world of opportunities to empower and encourage others to achieve big goals in work and life.
I now work with others to help them get clear on their soul skills and continue developing and refining my own in not only my work as a business director and coach, but also as a wife, sister, daughter and friend. Let's start celebrating the skills that come from the soul!
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!