Thursday 5 July 2018

Have you taken off your rose coloured spectacles?

Before my holiday I gave a talk at a local CIPS branch meeting and addressed my answer to a question posed about 'how to stand out from the crowd'. It was of course a given that the tag line to that question was 'using soft skills'.

Consider for a moment which of the following would you say was the most important soft skill?

The soft skill that would enable you to stand out from others, and enable you to get that interview, job or promotion?

Perhaps the soft skill you're thinking of isn't there.

Here's my answer to that question:

Having taken up sea swimming last year I've signed up for a Firth of Forth swim in September (eeck!).
Since swimming, and certainly since telling people about my 1.4 mile swim to come, I am constantly aware of the different temperature comfort zones we all have:

I've never liked temperatures over 20 degrees but who knew I would happily embrace swimming without a wet suit in 8 degree water with frost on the ground to watch sunrise!!

Aren't we all a little like the weather though with a range of temperaments:

Some of us able to demonstrate a different temperament every hour, and others stuck in one for months on end:

The key, is the predictability of our actions:

With the ability to flex those actions to suit the situation:

and to not get stuck in a fixed way of being:

I'll ask you again, which of these soft skills is the most important?

The accuracy of your answer depends whether you took your rose coloured spectacles off long enough about yourself to assess which of these skills you excel at, and which need a little more TLC and development?

Which was the crux of my answer - I believe self awareness is the key to standing out from the crowd.

Self awareness allows us to bring into conscious awareness the skills we're competent in (our strengths) and those we're not (areas of development).

Self awareness also allows us to understand who we are - our identity - to enable us to ensure we're not trying to be a round peg in a square hole:

On the night, using the Frameworks for Change Process I use in coaching sessions, we then explored strengths we might have:

and also the potential development areas:

One attendee said she was off to speak to her manager to ask them what soft skill she may wish to bring out of unconscious incompetence so that she may develop her competence in that area.

How can you put your self awareness to work in order that you increase the potential of you standing out from the crowd?

Always more than open to discussing how I may help you or your team increase your self awareness, and even release some of those unhelpful behaviours that are holding you back +44 (0)7770 538159.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach 
Using unconventional tools to get you back on track 

The FCP process, the insight, setback and mentor cards used here are from Frameworks for Change © Innerlinks -

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