We all know that it’s tougher now than it’s ever been with more demands and fewer resources and with competition stronger* than it’s ever been.
This means that those at the top, under pressure to achieve, have bigger and bigger expectations of those they manage. If they don’t they’ll be out on their ear with the mortgage to pay and food to put on the table.
This in turn often means that people may be given more responsibility than their skills are equipped for. But if you too are in fear of losing your job, you just keep on keeping on, feeling less and less confident, with your results not matching your own expectations, never mind anyone else’s.
Now, if that doesn’t cause stress, I don’t know what does.
But what to do about it? It’s not the easiest one to manage but here are some ideas:
- Make a list of the skills you do have, and your strengths. These are providing you more support than you realise. So, it’s important to bring them to front of mind so you can exploit them.
- Make a list of where your skills are falling short. How is it impacting your work? Are there any of your strengths that can fill in the gap? For example, if negotiating isn’t one of your strengths, but you are creative, allow your creative part to come up with some approaches next time the need arises. It’s usually when we are up close and personal with a problem that the solution seems to elude us. When you think in advance, your mind has time and space to think of suitable solutions without the pressure of the moment.
- Learn from a colleague. We all have different strengths. What you lack someone else will have. And vice-versa. Learn from each other.
- Ask yourself “what would so-and-so do in this situation?” It’s amazing how your mind can deliver an answer that, at a conscious level, you didn’t know you knew. But this question helps bring it into conscious awareness.
- Challenge limiting beliefs. “I can’t” is a belief system. I too often tell myself that I can’t do technology. But if I give myself the time and space, I can work it out. I am just impatient about learning it. So my beliefs (and patience) get in the way. I can do technology!
- Practice, practice, practice. It’s boring but true. Just because you can’t do something now, doesn’t mean that you will never be able to do it. If you think about your ability to walk. That came from thousands of attempts as a toddler when you fell down and got up again. So it is with skill-building. As a toddler you learned lots of ways to refine the skill and developing the right muscles, and now you don’t have to think about which foot you are using next and how to apply it. It’s the same as learning any skill.
- Ask for a role which plays to your strengths. This may or may not be available, so you’d need to be aware of options open to you and build a solid case as to why you should be given that opportunity. Or find a new one elsewhere.
- Finally, if you need training (or coaching), ask for it. Of course these cost money, but if you do a business case for it showing how much more value you could bring to your role for this comparatively small investment, versus the cost of hiring that skill in and all the downtime (and risk) associated with a new employee, training – and coaching – are really good investments.
I hope this article has given you some options about bridging the gap between your role and your skills. As always, if you would like further help – whether it is identifying the skills you need or helping you build them – do feel free to call me on 0834 130 0854. You’ll be glad you did.
*By stronger I mean more prolific. Everyone has a similar struggle so it’s how you deal with it that really matters.