In today’s high-paced work environments, many employers are searching for more than skills in an employee. They are looking for capabilities. What is a capability and how do I make the most of them in my work? Today I am sharing my top 5 tips to bring capabilities into your work and merge them with your skills.
What are Capabilities?
Capabilities refer to the inherent always present characteristics that people (currently) possess rather than a skill that needs to be developed. Capabilities and skills are both improvable, and they are interconnected, adaptable, and mergeable. A short list of the top business industry capabilities includes curiosity, creativity, emotional intelligence, courage, and an openness to change.
For more on the difference in capabilities and skills and the power of capabilities in the workplace, check out my blog The Importance of Capabilities and Skills in the Workplace.
5 Tips to Bring Capabilities Into Your Work
To bring capabilities into your work, you must be curious! Open yourself up to investigating all sides of every situation or task. Ask questions, dig for facts, and be open to opposing sides or information. Do not judge. Look for answers in the most unlikely places. Learn to separate facts from hearsay and seek out channels for knowledge, information, and fact-finding. Then, make them available to everyone.
Use Your Imagination and Tap Into Your Creative Side
Try brainstorming the impossible from an “everything is possible” perspective. Even if it seems ridiculous, some of the most innovative ideas came from “free for all” think tanks. Put yourself in a positive mood or setting to help foster creativity. Finds new ways to integrate, merge, or design something new from what you know and what you learn. Ask others to share their thoughts and knowledge. Very few highly successful breakthroughs have come from a single mind working alone. Most of us are not Einstein or Hawking, we need a bigger mental pipeline to tackle a VUCA workplace.
Be Courageous and Willing to Try New Things, and to Fail
After all, the most important lessons throughout history did not come from what people learned when things went well, they came from failure. I am not saying you should go out and try to fail, but I am saying if you do fail, learn something from it. Get over it and get past it. Try to “fail forward” and keep moving, learning, and growing. Over time, even small changes or several little wins can add up to big results.
Grow Your Emotional Intelligence
Start by learning to manage your emotions, so you can foster better collaborations and relationships at work. Take a moment to pause before you react or speak. This will allow your rational brain to catch up and prevent breakdowns in communication. Use empathy to connect by placing yourself in someone else’s situation or at least trying to see things from their perspective. Ask questions for deeper understanding and be aware of how your reactions or words may be viewed by others.
Possess an Inclusive Mindset
My final tip to bring capabilities into your work is to possess an inclusive mindset. Start by tapping into your openness, courage, and emotional intelligence. Get to know those around you, especially their talent and capabilities. Ask everyone to share their ideas, be present when you listen, and invite others to the table, especially those who seem to always be missing. People feel valued when they are heard and listened to. Find something you have in common with everyone you work with. This is a great way to help you make connections that foster better work productivity and research suggests it can help increase your work satisfaction. Remember to thank those who deserve it, recognize those who earn it, and give credit to everyone who contributed.
It can be easy to dismiss others, look past the people you do not know, or marginalize even your closest friend. Take some time to examine how you show up and who you want others to see when they engage with you. Being more inclusive will build trust and respect with others, and that is a huge asset when you (and your organization) are hit with an ever-increasing volatile, uncertain, challenging, and ambiguous (VUCA) tasks or goals.
Wolff Coaching can Help You Bring Capabilities Into Your Work and More
Wolff Coaching and Consulting is here to help you bring capabilities into your work and much more. We offer leadership coaching, mentor coaching, group coaching, assessments, and much more! Customize your own workshop today! Go to KayWolff.com to learn more and to schedule a consultation.
If you want to grow your own capabilities and apply them to your work/life, coaching is the perfect fit. Schedule a coaching session today at https://go.thryv.com/site/KayWolffCoaching
By A. Kay Wolff Kripchak, Ph.D.
I/O Psychology and Leadership Coaching Expert