A to Z of Soft Skills: Y for Your Strengths Suman April 29, 2017

A to Z of Soft Skills: Y for Your Strengths

If you have been to this blog before, you know that this one is dedicated to helping you develop essential career and personal skills. The posts have tips and tricks about a lot of basic skills like speaking, writing and listening and some more important concepts like digital detox, work ethic and making life simple! But it’s not always about developing new skills. It is also about qualities and skills that we already possess and are strong at. The strengths we have are usually underestimated and ignored in running the race of getting better. So, this post is about appreciating the mental muscle we already have and putting that to the best use possible.

Talking about one’s strengths is always a little tricky. First of all, we usually brush away things we are really good at. Secondly, we are not taught how to talk about our worth without sounding pompous. Even as children, especially girls, we are told not to talk ourselves up. But as we grow up, we need to speak up everywhere – placements, interviews, appraisal meetings, sales pitches. In all these situations, putting forth your strengths confidently is key to winning that coveted job or promotion. When I used to coach people for placements and college admissions, one of the important questions that took the most work is how to explain one’s strengths.

So let’s see how to go about it confidently:

Step 1: Get a pen and a paper

Step 2: Think of the top 3 things that you are good at. It could be qualities or skills. You can also get help here – Know your character strengths by taking the survey here. I also recommend that you explore the rest of the page which has classification of strengths that might help you name yours. (You can also ask your friends and family to help you)

Step 3: Think of about incidents or examples that support the strengths that you have jotted down (Again, your friends and family can help you)

Step 4: Fill in descriptions and colourful details into your experiences. Make it a story, if possible. It should sound interesting when you tell it to people.

Step 5: Practice these stories/experiences to tell them the right way when the need arises

I highly recommend that you read the book Brag! by Peggy Klaus which, at length, discusses every situation where you may need to put forth your talents and how to do it. Even if you are in between jobs! The book has a Take-12 Evaluation Questionnaire that can greatly help you dig out gold from your life. (Seems like the questionnaire has been taken off her blog and is unavailable elsewhere on the internet)

I am sure these resources will help you feel a lot more positive and give you the ability to project yourself with a lot more confidence. If you get stuck in the process, you can always drop me a line and I can help you.

This post is a part of A to Z blogging challenge where I am going to write about 26 soft skills in 26 days and give tips on how to improve on them. If you like these posts, do share them and tell your friends about it.