Its not unusual for me to come across employees that are feeling unmotivated, unappreciated and frustrated that their true skills and strengths are being underutilised in the workplace. This doesn’t appear to be an experience that can be attributed to any specific one sector but rather is common place across many different industries and countries. ‘My real skills just aren’t being used’! ‘I have so much more to offer’! ‘Its frustrating and I’m feeling more and more demoralized as time goes by’. Can you relate to this? If so, let me ask you the following two questions.
- Straight away off the top of your head tell me what your specific main skills and strengths are?
- Imagine getting into the elevator with the CEO of your company/organisation, he or she turns to you and says ‘I want you to make a real difference here so tell me now before we reach the ground floor, if there were no constraints placed upon you..what could you bring to the table that could fundamentally improve our work’?
Most people that I ask these two questions to really struggle to answer them. Why is this? How can we spend so much time complaining that we don’t get you use all of our skills and strengths and how we aren’t provided with opportunities in our workplace to make a real difference? While at the same time, we ourselves struggle to identify what they are when asked. If we don’t know, then how on earth can we expect others to?
Take the time to figure it out. Be honest with yourself when you reflect upon this. It can be useful to approach a few trusted friends or colleagues and ask them to identify some skills and strengths for you. Again, stress the need for honest appraisal. This is the first step as it raises self-awareness. Secondly, practice that elevator speech. You now have a list of skills and strengths. How would you use this to positively change your circumstances? How can you make a difference? In doing so, you are beginning to create motivation and perhaps visualisation as to what these changes might look like. Thirdly, develop a specific action plan. This is where you move from self-awareness to personal responsibility. This requires facing your own fears, being accountable to yourself and to others. So too, will it assist you in terms of gaining greater clarity and identifying options to enhance your level of performance and personal contentment.
A skilled professional coach can support you in raising self awareness around your skills and areas that require attention. How unique it is to have somebody that it fully supportive of you, unbiased in their opinion and equipped with a range of approaches that can enable you as a client in terms of clarity, focus and direction.