Preface: My mind has been on Self-development Hits Home, which is about strengths management, and understanding the difference between your talents, skills, and knowledge. Therefore, articles on the web which touch on skill-building are catching my radar. I reference one of them in the beginning of this post, and continue the conversation for our managed with Aloha workplaces.
We develop our chosen work habits through skill-building.
Caught this on Thrive Global: 7 Work Habits to Develop By the Time You’re 30. —“Mastering these skills can be a game-changer for your career and your whole life.”
My notes from the article;
[a summary in my own words…the article linked above is a little longer]
Typically, in a person’s
—20’s, a career is about figuring out what a “work self” even is, taking risks, making mistakes, and enduring all the confusion that comes with being a relative newbie in the workforce.
—30s, on the other hand, are a time to put your stake in the ground and experience some hard-earned professional security.
In your 20’s:
1. Become a master at prioritization—you will have to master your own To Do list before you manage others and their lists.
2. Shore up your resilience—there is hardship in all worthwhile work, and you must be able to deal with stresses and bounce back from setbacks. Key: allow yourself the space to feel emotion around the setback, and then move on with a clear strategy for success.
3. Make time for lunch—energize, keep healthy, and stave off workaholic tendencies. lunchtime is a perfect, natural pause in the day to collect your thoughts, let ideas marinate, release stress, and be fully present.
4. Be comfortable with incompletion—declaring an end to your day, even if you haven’t finished everything on your to-do list, in order to make space for your life outside of work.
5. Take sleep seriously—it’s good for you. Failing to get proper sleep can have a variety of adverse effects at work, resulting in everything from decreased productivity to reduced empathy for others.
[We talk about sleep benefits in this newsletter: Knowing is Not Doing.]
6. Practice compassionate directness—Love this phrase! Getting comfortable with forthright, face-to-face communication is a necessary skill at work and in life.
7. Remember the basics—never forget, or take the time-tested rules of professionalism for granted. Things like looking people in the eye, showing up on time, and allowing others respectful time to speak as you listen also serve to fortify your character.
I liked the premise of the article’s framing.
Skill-building needs to be a lifetime endeavor for us, for we will indeed need different skills for the varying stages of our lives. The article suggests, for instance, that most of us will focus on raising our families in our 30’s, cultivating the skills necessary for meshing our work with our new lifestyles as parents. That certainly happened for me.
What if we extend this? What skills do you need in your 40’s, your 50’s, your 60’s, 70’s and beyond?
Here’s a skill-builder Atomic Habits author James Clear suggests;
“One of the most underrated career skills that isn’t really taught anywhere is editing your own writing. Great writing is actually re-writing. Simplifying paragraphs. Clarifying key points. Double-checking for typos.
Good writing will impress in any job.”
The differences in those decades of life look like a bell curve:
—The tails of the curve are more general: We share our skill-building requirements with many of our peers during our 20’s and 30’s, and we are likely to share them again in the later stages of life when we are no longer working, or work with much lighter schedules, say in our 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
—We hit the top of the bell in our 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, and our skill-building is more specialized then, based on the work we have chosen as our Ho‘ohana career path of choice.
The mantra is always the same however. Adapt, adjust, adapt again, adjust again, and get life to ‘fit’ you, as only you can best do for yourself in continually becoming a better person in life, and a more professional one in your work.
Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic
Listing different skills isn’t that difficult, not when you’ve studied the work to be done: Managing Basics; Study the Work.
Managers will step in as workplace coaches, and serve their staff best, when they break general topic skills into more specific skills—just as James Clear did in the quote above, breaking ‘writing’ into ‘editing’ while recognizing that writing is actually part of the larger category of communication;
“Communication skills in the workplace can be broken down into three distinct categories: verbal, non-verbal, and written.
Verbal communication is communication that is spoken. However, it gets trickier, as effective verbal communication involves nuances such as the tone of your voice, enunciation, and inflection.
Non-verbal communication is communication that is transmitted and received via other mediums, such as touch and sight. The most common of these include eye contact, hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
Written communication is communication through the written word, including handwriting and typed text. Though it seems as if it should be included in non-verbal communication, HR managers like to differentiate here [when screening job candidates], as it is a major part of occupational dialogue.”
—Christian Eilers, Resumé Expert at Zety
Great information, but way too general for the every day working concerns of managers and staff, isn’t it. It’s more useful to look at communication this way;
Communication skills include:
- Absorbing, sharing, and understanding information presented.
- Communicating (whether by pen, mouth, etc.) in a way that others grasp.
- Respecting others’ points of view through engagement and interest.
- Using relevant knowledge, know-how, and skills to explain and clarify thoughts and ideas.
- Listening to others when they communicate, asking questions to better understand.
… all which become much more relevant and useful in practical skill-building.
This is particularly so in our chosen Managing with Aloha realm of values-centered management, wherein we constantly work on value-alignment simultaneously (Key 3), recognizing that values drive behavior—those bullet points above are behaviors, just as all skills are.
For instance, my favorite ‘work habit’ phrase in the Thrive Global list of 7 above, is the “compassionate directness” of number 6., and it naturally leads us to recall the value of Ho‘ohanohano, wherein we’re guided toward conducting ourselves with professional distinction and personal Aloha.
It’s pretty comforting isn’t it, knowing how skill-building, the strengths-management of our Talents/ Skills/ Knowledge, and value-alignment all go hand in hand in fostering good management.