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Reflect on Your Skills and Competencies to Achieve Your Goals

Ever since we start going to kindergarten to the moment we first attend a job interview, everyone is questioning us about our relevant skills and competencies. Identifying and acknowledging your abilities might be a secure lead to a lifelong successful path. The first question you need to answer before starting the skills development process is what skills do I possess and how can I improve those to succeed?

Going back to our educational system, we notice that school teaches us about the three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Simply put, those are the basic skills and competencies that we learn from an early age that become the fundament of any person’s knowledge. However, throughout our life, we are taught to follow a personal development plan that, ultimately, shapes our aptitudes.

The real challenge one faces is learning how to quantify the importance of each specific skill they hold and what it takes to improve your skills and reach your goals. Even though certain skills might appear less important than others, in the grand scheme of things, each of the competencies we own can make a difference.

Breaking It Down: The Difference Between Skills and Competencies

Everyone likes definitions, so let’s break down the difference between these terms, even though most people perceive them as the same thing. The precise taught talents required to do a certain profession successfully are referred to as skills. Examples range from handling accounting and coding to welding and writing tenders, depending on the exact function. Your skills are your capacity to do something well a part of yourself that can make you stand out from the crowd or make you an expert in your field. 

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills

A notable distinction should be drawn between hard abilities and soft skills. Whereas hard skills are quantitative capacities someone might demonstrate through certifications or professional experiences, soft skills are non-technical, less entrenched in certain professions. Computer programming or expertise in a foreign language are examples of hard skills, whereas time management or verbal communication are examples of soft skills.

You would be surprised to find out that Stanford Research Center, Harvard University, and the Carnegie Foundation discovered that great soft and interpersonal skills account for a stunning 85 percent of career performance. Technical abilities account for 15% of the total, mirroring a shift in the business perspective that aims for success.

What Are Competencies?

Competencies determine the observable behaviors a successful performer displays during their employment. These behaviors are based on varying qualities, skills, knowledge, and motivational traits. Competencies usually integrate “skills” into our behavior, whether it’s related to our career to not. 

Generally, those are harder to learn, as they are more qualitative than quantitative and take longer to develop within ourselves. Opposite to our specific learned abilities, competencies such as time management or effective communication can not be mastered by taking some courses, as those differ based on our individuality.

How are skills and competencies similar?

Several things are similar between skills and competencies. The two describe the skills that a person gained in training. They have a different function for the talent-management process, however.

Focusing on improving your skills and competencies is a great step for you to reach your goals and find your way to the happiness journey, a path that combines all the major elements: your goals, habits, values, and visions. A great personal development plan combines all these elements and helps you identify what might be lacking.

First Step Towards Improvement: Start Measuring Your Skills and Competencies

The first step you need to take in order to reflect on your skills development process is to ask yourself what skills and competencies can help you advance. A thorough grasp of your abilities and strengths can assist you in developing your personal brand, allowing you at the same time to present yourself solely not only in your career but in other aspects of your life as well.

To improve your skills and, ultimately, reach your goals, instead of focusing your efforts on becoming excellent at one activity, your goal is to aim for proficiency in a few related skills that may be knitted together into a larger skill set. It could make you uniquely outstanding at your vocation or another general life ability.

Start by reflecting on your journey and measure your progress so far. Have you been overly focused on honing one talent as a means of achieving success or have you attempted to purposefully weave a web of interrelated abilities that you’re competent at?

Here’s the part where we hop in, as we have found the best exercise for you to enable your skills development and reach your goals to achieve greater results. As part of your personal development plan, you can start by using the skills wheel – a tool that aims to evaluate your skills and competencies.

Try the Skills Wheel Excercise For Yourself

The skills wheel serves two purposes: the first is to identify and map the eight essential competencies you need to attain your goal and the second is to self-evaluate and understand what you need to improve.

Start by thinking about your desired workplace environment and the job requirements it might imply. 

Different skills are required for each type of business, so recognizing which path you want to follow will help you better understand which core competencies are needed. 

Following Forbes’ classification of the most important skills and competencies every company is looking for, you can write down a list of capacities needed for your individual performance. As an example, we want to show you a list of abilities needed for a Sales position:

  • Good ommunication skills
  • Initiative
  • Responsibility
  • Market Knowledge
  • Planning and organizing skills
  • High energy
  • Motivation
  • Problem-solving skills and so on.

The next step would be to reflect on what needs to be done to improve your skills. 

Draw a circle and divide it into the number of skills you have written down. On the skills wheel, on a scale of 1 to 10, grade yourself in terms of your ability level in relation to each competency. For example, if you feel that you can communicate effectively, you may rate yourself an 8 out of 10. 

Always remember to stay true to yourself and be honest. 

The goal of this exercise is to show you where you might need to improve in each area, as part of your happiness journey.  Rating your level of skills and competencies truthfully can help you with your strategic planning and help you achieve the desired result.

After rating your abilities, create a table with an action plan. 

In front of each skill, write down some ideas that you need to follow in order to better yourself and try to include those in your everyday routine as small changes that can make a difference in the long run.

Start Your Happiness Journey

This exercise is one of the many within our Happiness Journey program, aiming to help you become more content with your life. The main goal is to reflect upon what is lacking and try to implement changes that are sustainable and can help you with your self-development process. 

In order to be in charge of your own path, you need to think about what is missing and start taking action to improve the quality of your life. The road to self-discovery can start now! Check out our available coaching sessions, designed specifically for your well-being.


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