At least my mess is my message was illustrated in my most recent podcast guest appearance. Being a podcast guest is nerve-racking and exciting – as I explain in Principle 8 of my book, Soft Skills Hard Results, courage (excitement) and vulnerability (fear) are two sides of the same coin.
There was little reason to be nervous as this podcast was with my book coach and publisher, Alison Jones, and it’s her 215 episode for the Extraordinary Business Book Club.
My Message of Soft Skills
This podcast illustrates that our greatest lesson is the thing we want or feel compelled to teach. Intellectually I say I wrote this book for my task-focused and analytical clients who sometimes struggle giving “negative feedback,” doing chit chat with staff, and interacting with people beyond the work that needs to get done. If this is you, please don’t be ashamed, because it was me. Emotionally, I wrote this book because it’s the journey I’ve been on most of my life and certainly the last 15 years since my parents’ deaths. To practice being more connected to people with my heart as my head strives to solve a problem, achieve a goal or complete a task – for greater productivity and satisfaction.
My mess is exhibiting my heart to others through soft skills (when I’m focused on getting something done) because I am still practising them myself – how to connect authentically with people while diving into the task. I ‘failed’ just this morning on my Zoom pilates class – at the start of class I said to the teacher “I’ll have to leave 5 min early as I have a work call at the bottom of the hour.” I said that before saying “Hello, how are you?” In my defence there were other people joining, saying hi, lots of chatter so I wanted to ensure she knew I wasn’t leaving because I was unhappy or had an injury. My intention was compassionate, I wanted her to know I wasn’t leaving early because of her, how I did it was abrupt. Soft skills are often about how to ensure your compassion for them shows through.
I talk in the podcast about asking for favours as I was writing my book – another thing with which I’ve historically struggled. The struggle stems from not wanting to bother someone else and with being self-sufficient and independent. A big favour I needed was asking people to endorse my book – it had to be done under tight timelines and was a time investment for them to read my book. As Alison so aptly underlines it’s about inviting people into something fun, cool and exciting. Amazingly, everyone was excited about being asked.
In coaching work, my clients don’t want to hurt someone that’s why they are afraid of giving negative feedback. When we get to the point of them feeling the feedback is developmental (rather than negative) then their belief and compassion for the individual has come through.
What are the things you’ve struggled with in life to overcome? Those are the lessons you can take out into the world and help other people to learn from your struggle and reinforce your development. Maybe that’s why ex-smokers are the biggest proponents for smoking cessation?
What’s your mess that you want to overcome and/or practice more in the world? Book a complimentary 60-minute clarity session with me to work on it.
Extraordinary Business Book Club Podcast
In addition to the ‘mess’ in the podcast there are tips if you’ve ever thought of writing a book and MY recommendation for one of the best leadership books ever!
If you want to listen to the actual podcast, click here.