My professional background encompasses a variety of roles and disciplines: Sales, Operations, Leadership, Consulting, Delivery, Project Management, etc. These cross-discipline experiences provide a great foundation to look at situations from multiple perspectives, and come up with approaches that go beyond what is asked to what is needed.
I am not alone in this. We all have worked and performed in multiple roles and functions, both within our professional lives and our personal worlds. Financial Analyst, Excel guru, college student, Little league coach, parent, finance committee chair for our church, runner, artist, musician, etc.
Collectively, these experiences bring us a wealth of knowledge and perspective to draw from. But quite often, these experience live in isolation from each other. We often work and live as if the roles we play are in silos, and often fail to leverage the value from these experiences. Talents that can increase our effectiveness lie dormant simply because we don’t think of them.
- Make a simple list of all the roles you fill in your life: spouse, athlete, parent, coach, analyst, salesperson, nurse, council member, volunteer, repair person, gardener, painter, friend, confidant, etc.
- Now, for each role, draw a line to another role where skills, experience, and knowledge can be applied. For example, as a sales person, your listening and negotiation skills play right into your role as a council member on a civic or charitable organization. Your hobby as a painter lends creativity to difficult problems you face as an analyst.
- Post this list in a place you regularly see it.
- Pick one or two of these skills or experiences, and use them specifically in a new role. For example, your ability to patiently explain and demonstrate something to that little league baseball player might just apply to that team member at work who seems to be struggling with something.
By recognizing and bringing forth the talents we already have, we can really make a positive impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.