Focus on skills

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Focus on Skills

This week we focus on skills and how to identify natural talents, or the qualities and traits that enhance our everyday interactions.

We had some great feedback on our recent look at values and beliefs, because many of us have used this time to review our behaviors and reflect on what we do, not just how we do it.

This is especially important now, as the economic landscape continues to change and some people are left wondering what the future will bring if their job, business or industry is unable to continue as it did in the past.

However, as a professional coach, you have the tools needed to support any family, friends or clients during this difficult time, if they need to explore different options and unlock skills they can use to find a new role or start a new career.


Skills are normally grouped together under two headings:

  • Personal skills – seen as our ‘soft skills’ or those intangible qualities and traits that enhance our everyday interactions
  • Interpersonal skills – seen as our ‘people skills’ and relate to how we communicate with others

Our personal or soft skills can be used to help us stand out when a hiring manager is shortlisting candidates for a role, however many employers look for people with a balanced combination of both personal and interpersonal skills.


Skills Compass

One way you can help identify the balance between personal and interpersonal skills, is to review a list of each during a coaching session. Talk through the list one skill at a time and clearly set out examples for each one. Then use a tool like our skills compass to give each skill a score from 1 to 5. This score is then used to identify strengths and talents or areas to focus on. It can also act as a benchmark so you can track progress as your client works on and develops each skill.


When completing the skills compass, ask your client what…

  • Would they like to focus on most?
  • Are their goals?
  • Do they hope to achieve now or in the future?
  • Changes can they make unaided and what help do they need from others?
  • Examples can they think of to support the score they have for each skill?

It may then be helpful to ask your client to think of a range of different situations they have been in and use that experience to support the score they gave themselves. Then ask them to consider what they could do differently if they are ever in the same situation again. And get them to ask friends or family members to score their skills and look for any differences.


The importance of skills

A focus on skills can be critical to our success in many different roles, so it may be a good time to explore this with your clients. Help them identify the key strengths that can be added to their CV or Resume as many organizations will ideally look for a balance of both personal and interpersonal skills.  Especially as they may feel it helps us positively contribute to the working environment and can also help us communicate effectively so we can work well with others.


Further reading:

To support you in your coaching sessions, we have published a Coaching Personal and InterPersonal Skills e-book. It guides you through a simple step-by-step process to explore and identify both personal and interpersonal skills, key strengths or areas that may need attention. 


Content is constantly being added to the site, so please check our on-line shop. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.


Image: Thanks to John Moeses Bauan for sharing their work on Unsplash.


Please note – Our materials can only be copied and distributed, if you include a reference and link to the original source: (cc) – 2020

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