The beginning of another week, these weekends seem to fly by too fast. I hope yours was productive and you made time for yourself.
This week I am happy to share that I have all the feedback and analysis from my soft skills program that was run as part of the Junior Leaders After School Program which was coordinated by the YMCA.
The students, facilitators, and coordinators all agreed that the Soft Skills program was well received and a valuable experience in preparation for future, new, and existing employees.
One of the biggest things that I took from this, and most people know I will do anything to empower the youth of our great nation, was that actually these skills of Communication, Active listening, Teamwork, Collaboration Responsibility, and Accountability (there are 12 we cover in all) are also of immense value to those who have been in employment for a good period of time already. People who are considering their personal development could do worse than developing their soft skills.
in fact, this little quote is so true, and we, at every level should take note.
"Soft skills get little respect but can make or break a career:" -Peggy Klaus author and Executive Coach
Teaching students, even the basic understanding of soft skills will give them the EGDE they may need when it comes to running groups, being part of a school committee, preparing for transition into higher education or work, and of course, making outstanding contributions to our society.
I could go on about the importance of Soft Skills, in fact, I do when delivering this program. but i won't today as I know you have work to do. Instead, I will leave you with our tip of the week to ponder.
"Focus and highlight the Soft Skills that are fundamental to your day"
If customer service is your thing, how clearly are you communicating, how well are you listening to your clients? If you run a small business, these are important too along with teamwork and collaboration. How good are the links between your stakeholders? Finally, my favorite subject, teachers, creativity is paramount for an engaging lesson, dig into your resources and enjoy the risk of creativity.
Remember "there is no I in team", so reach out to your network for support.
I hope you have a great week, focussing on improving your Soft Skills
I don't know about you, but these weeks coming to the end of the year, are getting very busy. With this in mind, I thought it would be prudent to bring up one of my favorite topics.
We should all be mindful of the stresses the holidays bring to families. Whether it'll be financial, family matters like presents for the kids or the thought of having to spend an elongated amount of time with the in-laws (I'm sorry), these are all things people who are normally relaxed, are beginning to think about. How do you as their boss, friend, or regular acquaintance navigate this?
Before I give you a thought on how to support this situation, I would like to share this quote, which I often say to clients.
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” ― Roy T. Bennett
Creating a positive from a challenge is always a consideration and a good way of turning stress into a controllable setting.
So, to help you with this, practice mindfulness. “Mindfulness is an awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” It helps you accomplish more things at work and enjoy more of your personal life.
Here is a good mindfulness exercise for you to practice this week.
Listen when people speak. Really listen
How much of what others say do you think really gets through? How often do you find yourself consumed with thoughts or seeking distraction while someone else is speaking? Listening is a great anchor to mindfulness. Whenever you're in a conversation, aim to pay closer attention, make eye contact, and ask questions to fully take in what the speaker is saying. You’ll gain more insights and form a deeper bond.
In coaching, this practice is a cornerstone to our client’s successes, and I believe it can make you much more supportive.
Here is your tip of the week
“Respond; don’t react. Listen; don’t talk. Think; don’t assume.”
Give it a go and let me know if it has an impact on your week. Remember; “Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.” Amit Ray
Be ready to spot and support a stressed colleague, it'll help you have a great week
Take care of each other.
Richie Forde, Performance Coach and the Founder of Edge Coaching Services.