How to improve all your ‘Essential Skills’ by curing ONE root cause.

This morning I overheard a short sequence in a podcast, saying that the term ‘Soft skills’ is not a good choice. Better would be the term ‘Essential Skills.’ That resonated with me and I decided to pick that up on today’s blog.

I had only a chance to listen for ten mins, just enough to realize, that the conversation focused on working on the ‘symptoms.’ How to develop certain Soft Essential-Skills one by one. Whereas I think there is a more radical way to tackle the problem at the root-cause level. To create your personal breakthrough in ‘Essential-Skills’ development. In a moment I will tell you how.

First, some general observations: over the decades I have experienced that many people see “Soft Skills” almost as secondary – unless they work in HR (Human Resources) related roles.

At the same time, you also hear opinions like “the soft skills are the hard part” (to develop) as the progress is not so tangible, visible or measurable.

In case you don’t know what is what, here is a typical definition:

Hard Skills are technical skills based on qualifications and specific professional experience, whereas Soft Skills are transferable skills, which are less specialized, more related to the personality, attitude and interpersonal competence.”

There are several categories of Soft skills:

A) Self-Management: emotional control, stress management, resilience, growth mindset, patience, flexibility – just to name a few.

B) People-Management: communication, leadership, teambuilding, conflict management, assertiveness, coaching, mentoring, presenting – the list goes on.

C) Tribal-Management: managing your boss, self-promotion, networking, enforcing behaviour & communication rules, leading change, etc.

So naturally one could pick the Soft skills they are lacking in and develop those, one by one. That would be ‘treating the symptoms.’ And it works.

‘Tackling the root cause’ would be to look deeper, which a lot of people are not prepared to do. Are you?

  • How high is your Self-Regard?
  • How high is your Self-Awareness?

If both areas are highly developed in you, my prediction is you have a healthy Self-Management.

  • How high is your Regard for others?
  • How high is your Self-Awareness?

If those are highly developed, you’ll be able to have a healthy Relationship-Management.

So instead of dealing with the long list of 20+ items (under section A, B, C), which is not even a complete list, you just focus on four.

  1. Self Regard
  2. Self Awareness
  3. Regard for Others
  4. Awareness of Others

You can make it even simpler, of course.

Instead of wrestling with four you can ask yourself: which is the most important item to focus on of those four?

And? The answer is…

This is where it all boils down to.
This is where it all starts.
That’s the root.
Because you cannot give what you don’t have…

By the way, a high Self-Regard does not mean that you are full of yourself or arrogant. You respect yourself, you are happy in your own skin, in a healthy way, and others sense that. You are humble, but not submissive.

If your Self-Regard is low, forget the rest of the list. Instead, work just on your Self-Regard. To ‘work on’ is probably not a helpful phrase. Instead, just realize your true nature. Recognize your perfection.

To be able to do that,
don’t judge your self by

  • your thoughts,
  • your emotional rollercoaster rides,
  • your physical appearance,
  • your shortfall compared to others.

Instead, compare yourself with your potential.
See and appreciate your uniqueness.

Your perfection. Because you are just that.

We all are – at the level of consciousness.


To the ‘Undivided Leader’ in you.

Thomas & Joe


Joe single - 1

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