So, how good are you?

I said; “So why not score yourself against the criteria you have just developed? “

The course participants launched themselves into the activity and they took it just a bit further than even I imagined! So let me explain what they were actually doing and how it came about.

During a recent project management course we were discussing the need for effective soft skills in project management – by the project manager, team and sponsor. The question was asked: can we be clear what is meant by the words ‘soft skills?’ We hit the keyboard and there were a number of definitions we looked at and the group concluded, I agreed with them, that the following best described what soft skills means:
…. personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterise relationships with other people

What skills are involved?

So having established what the words meant we need to look at the various components (skills) are. We produced an agreed list of skills which included:

1. listening
2. questioning
3. being in the moment (paying attention)
4. being open
5. being honest
6. articulating how you feel
7. giving and receiving honest feedback
8. motivating

I then asked them to use this question asking them to use this question; I am very good at…to score themselves against the above using the simple scoring system below;


When was the last time you really looked at yourself and decided to look at some personal development?

When was the last time you really looked at yourself and decided on some personal development?

• Strongly agree score 5
• Agree score 4
• Disagree score 3
• Strongly disagree 2
• Don’t know 1

Personal scores v feedback scores – interesting difference

Personal scores were known just before coffee and I suggested we break and discuss them on our return. However, I asked them to think about how others would score them!

It was obvious something had taken place as there was much discussion going on when I returned to the room. What had happened? Encouraged by one person on the course, each person took a photo of their scores and sent them to others they work with; bosses, colleagues, subordinates and even suppliers. In the 15 minute break they had received back at least 2 scores which were not their own.

The interesting issue was pre coffee the average score was 32 (out of a maximum of 50.) The feedback gave a different picture; the average was 22. We spent some time looking at this and the overriding conclusion was that we really do not know ourselves that well…..

I then posed a question; what are you going to do to bridge the gap between the scores given and yours?

So, what don’t you have a go and evaluate yourself?

This was a powerful session and the course feedback reflected this. However, why not take advantage of other people’s work. How?

• have a go yourself at scoring yourself against the 8 criterial mentioned above

• pass this onto some other colleagues and get their feedback

• compare the scores

• what do you notice and what do you intend to do about it?

Good luck and do let me know the results


(Photograph courtesy of Google – labelled for reuse with modification)

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