I love magic. I remember sitting through my first magic show as a child. Being in awe of the glittering costumes, the lights, and the music – the theatrical presentation. I was mesmerized when a tiger came on stage and drew me into his eyes and his beautiful face. My father cautioned me not to watch the tiger and to pay no mind to the dancing girl and the waving magician. Instead, watch the entire scene.
Following my father’s advice, I noticed a small panel of a very intricate background slide forward. The tiger slipped into this tunnel, the panel slid back into the wall, and “magically,” the tiger disappeared!
The real magic laid in the presentation. Distracting the audience. We were tricked!
I have carried this lesson with me throughout my life. To always keep my eyes on the big picture and avoid the distractions of smoke and mirrors. To not be tricked!
- The flashy car with uncomfortable seats, no trunk space and ridiculous gas mileage.
- The college campus with landscaped lawns and beautiful brick buildings, but no community involvement and limited masters’ programs.
- The candidate with the 10-page resume in the expensive leather portfolio, but no tangible facts to support their professed accomplishments.
- The presentation to the executive with polished PowerPoint slides, charts and graphs, yet the author unable to explain the content.
Why do I mention this to you today? Because it is so very easy to rely on similar tricks rather than invest in our core skills. We spend hours in training, in classes and courses, upskilling our hard skills – Excel, PowerPoint, Business Administration – and neglect the interpersonal skills commonly referred to as “soft skills.” But I challenge you to consider, are skills that enhance your performance, your presentation, soft? And if we do not master these skills, do they become a distraction from your magic, your potential?
- Do you miss your opportunity to share your presentation with the larger group, because you are seen as unengaged and disinterested?
- Are you viewed by others as a resistor to change?
- Have you considered the possibility of relationship blind spots?
- What is your corporation’s mission and vision?
- Do you find yourself redoing, reworking, repeating?
- How do you perceive your place on the team?
- Do you value your value?
Have you lost sight of “your” big picture? Refined interpersonal and intrapersonal skills can multiply your success and differentiate you from the competition. There is no such thing as magic. You do not need to rely on tricks. Investing in your soft skills removes the distraction of fear, lack of confidence, and lethargy. Smoke, mirrors, tricks are replaced with authentic, practiced behaviors. Soft skills become Power Skills. Power Skills become your nature.
- Energy Management – centered, balanced, focused, and ready to seize the day!
- Resiliency and Adaptability – not only a survivor, but a thriver
- Interpersonal Intelligence – mindfully aware of how you are perceived
- Business Acumen/Service Orientation – knowing not just the what and how, but the why
- Communication – the foundation of your performance
- Collaboration – an opportunity to showcase you
- Critical Creative Thinking – be the first to have a plan
The world is our stage, and we perform every day. A command performance is unforgettable; it is sought after and talked about. I personally like the center stage. I thrive when I feel in control, a driver, not a passenger and not on autopilot. Yet, I understand the stage is not about me. It is about my interactions with my audience, what do they want, and how do I make them feel.
This is the stage of today’s workplace – customer-focused, service orientation, invested and reliable. We have an opportunity to fill the gap that is currently facing the workforce. The gap created by a focus on strong hard skills and artificial intelligence. With Power Skills, you can remove the distraction of self-monitoring, you can focus on your success and your brand. You can become the center of influence, the coveted employee who is engaged and accountable.
With Power Skills, you can forget the drawer – let’s hear you Roar!