Wednesday 17 May 2017

Love from Learning and Development

If your soft skills were to write a postcard what would they say?

Today it's the turn for learning and development to get something off their chest.


Dear Procurement, 

We love the 70/20/10 model - after all it reminds you that there's multiple places that your learning and development takes place - i.e. experiential via on the job learning (70%), social interactions (20%), and formally via training events (10%).

The biggest challenge is that in order for learning and development to take place you do need to be consciously aware of what's not working for you. I'm sure you all have stories to tell of people who think for example, that they're great at communication, listening or negotiation. Yet being on the receiving end of their communication, listening or negotiation skills you would resoundingly disagree.

The key is moving from unconscious incompetence into conscious incompetence - knowing what you don't know, or could get better at. It's only then that a plan can be developed for a competency to be improved or enhanced.

The question you need to answer is how do you become aware of your incompetence areas for improvement or development if it's not consciously obvious to you?

360 degree feedback is one mechanism, so too observing others you admire and noticing what they do and how they do it. YouTube, books and online learning are all great places to find out how those that do something well do it. Podcasts, vlogs and blogs too - even Arianne Huffington's Thrive Global got in on the act yesterday sharing a post on the power of constant learning.

From there it's a case of comparing what you do to their model of excellence, and then making changes to your behaviour, and noticing the impact they have on your performance.

There are some barriers however to even these activities working, and that's either being resistant to the feedback, or having beliefs that either a particular competency is common sense and so innate that anyone can do it, or a belief that you're great at the skill, and no one can tell you otherwise.

All and any learning requires that you be open to alternative ways of doing something.

Soft Skills is one of those areas where so many people remain oblivious to what can be achieved with just a little tweak here and there, or a little perspective change. You may want to read the top 10 things to remember when communicating to give you a sense of some of the things you might be unconscious about.

How can you become more aware of your own level of competency with respect to soft skills, and what can you do to identify a plan to learn and develop them? After all, we can personally think of nothing better than doing that, and so can certainly support you. We just need your intention and we'll then be gladly be of assistance.

We look forward to a great year ahead full of surprises, busting a few limiting beliefs, and celebrating the expansion of you comfort zone or even getting in touch with you comfort universe.

With love from Learning and Development 

PS: Doing something different everyday is one activity you may want to try that we can guarantee will help you develop your skills.

A selection of postcards from others of your soft skills have been brought together into the Purchasing Coach Soft Skills Toolkit. You can find more about buying the Toolkit here - for personal use (at a cost of only £4.99) or organisationally (cost on request).

A toolkit entitled Dear Human, with love from your Soft skills has also been developed, and is available for non Procurement professionals wanting to develop their soft skills.

There are examples of other postcards in posts on this blog from change managementemotions,
and your mental health.

Follow the link to a post providing an example of how to use the postcards to develop you, or your team's, Soft Skills.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Unlocking Procurement Potential Using Unconventional Tools. +44(0)7770 538159

© Alison Smith 2017

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