From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

January 2022
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Wise Skills. Keystone Habits, NOW Habit
Filed under: Interviewing, Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:42 am

Should I be surprised?  At a recent workshop we
addressed “wise skills” which are deliberate, proactive
skills that we practice as a result of co-curricular
, not the “hard skills” from our formal education
and not “soft skills” that all employers expect each one
of us to demonstrate and use.  Wise skills set us apart
from all other the highly qualified candidates.

Surprise #1:  Many could identify with procrastination
as a common weakness, once they thought about their
behaviors and responses to situations.  They liked
learning about the “NOW Habit” which is a stepwise
understanding of usual causes of procrastination and a
thoughtful routine to “push through” the barriers to
reach our objectives.
Procrastination is that habit we use to “ease our fears,
anxieties and self-doubts.[the cue]” 
It can result in “busywork”.  But, another outcome of the
cue is to treat everything that comes up, as important. 
This results in many interruptions, which adds to more
time to restart our work and delaying doing the important
Plan to do play things.  So that you can return to the urge
to do work toward goals
Set goals and workable objectives.  Think backwards from
when you want to achieve your goals.
Know your “flow states” and how to enter them.
Plan that you will have adversity.  Learn from each setback.

Surprise #2:  It is possible to identify habits that do not
lead to positive outcomes.  But what was surprising
members did not realize you can intentionally change
habits to achieve desired outcomes, by knowing: 
CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD (The ‘Habit outline’ of Duhigg.)
This is something they could do for themselves, but it
takes specific action and thought to develop
Keystone Habits. (Duhigg, Chapter 5 in book)

Surprise #3:  Some members mentioned that the pace
of the workshop changed from one section to another part
of the workshop.  Where there was interaction among
participants it seemed slower but was absorbing.  When it
was more lecture, it moved faster and then engaged the audience
via  questioning and response.  There could have been another
exercise, one commented.  I thanked them for the comments,
the whole strategy was to reveal the importance of
face-to-face communication
[liking the exercises and sharing with others],
time management

[creating incidents and situations where surprises or unexpected
outcomes were teachable moments, yet we finished ahead of time]
and keystone habits.

Surprise #4:  Subliminally at the beginning, we did a series of
activities that were analyzing who was attending the session.  Yet,
each person felt the exercise revealed things to each participant. 
This was a pursuit of reciprocal audience analysis, where the
presenter learned about the audience and the audience learned
about themselves.  [Audience analysis is another wise skill.]

4 Responses to “Wise Skills. Keystone Habits, NOW Habit”

  1. site admin Says:

    Other wise skills addressed were:
    - Being allies for others
    - Taking vacations and ‘recharging your batteries’
    - Mentors and Sponsors
    - Committed networking
    - Setting ‘Smarter’ Goals and Objectives
  2. site admin Says:

    Another wise skill is story telling.


    and a WSJ piece by D. Nishi that includes:
    “It’s a tool that’s more useful than PowerPoint presentations,
    say career experts, who note that storytelling can also be
    used on a day-to-day basis to sell ideas to one person or a
    hundred. But being an effective storyteller requires

    Move beyond facts and figures, which aren’t as memorable
    as narratives, says Cliff Atkinson, a communications
    consultant from Kensington, Calif., and author of
    “Beyond Bullet Points.” Many people in business think raw
    data is persuasive. But when you’re dealing with people
    from other departments and in different fields who don’t
    understand how you got that data, you can lose them pretty
    quickly. “You have to step back and put yourself into their
    shoes and take them through the process of understanding,”
    says Mr. Atkinson. “That requires you to distill the most
    important facts and wrap them in an engaging story.

    “Find ways to connect with your audience on an emotional
    level, says Mr. Atkinson. Neuroscientists have discovered
    that most decisions—whether people realize it or not—are
    informed by emotional responses. Do some legwork to find
    significant events in your audience’s lives or your own that
    you can base your story on or use to reinforce your points,
    he says.
  3. site admin Says:

    Flow states have three main pathways to enter, according
    to Daniel Goleman:
     - match of task/work to skill sets [aligns challenge/demand ratio]
     - determining the work/endeavors we love to do [aligns ethics,
    engagement and engagement]
     - absorbs our full attention and mindfulness [we are
    oblivious to distractions]
  4. site admin Says:

    Lou Adler translates “flow states” into employment niches in
    his article

    when thinking about the position you are in.

    Zone 1: Growth and impact
    Zone 2: Employed and meaningful, but not either growing or impactful
    Zone 3: Employed but not impactful
    Zone 4: Underemployed and not impactful

    However, it seems that his view of employment is “constant
    churning” — not satisfied, quit and find something else.
    Whereas, there is no mention of coaching and mentoring

    Knowledge workers in mid-career could also seriously
    think about developing several “wise skills” before jumping
    self discipline of attention
    understanding things from different perspectives
    developing keystone habits
    adapting to the changing situation


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