WorkLife Stories
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WorkLife Stories

How to Fine-Tune Your Hard and Soft Skills Learning Development and Growth Needs

To Best Serve Your Clients Collaborators and Community

Delilah is a freelance personal trainer. She has a collaborative working relationship with a gym in a busy part of town — they put potential clients her way, and when they sign up for her programmes, she pays a commission to the gym that covers the use of their space and equipment. She also works with clients who prefer outdoor exercise — she creates running programmes for her clients to help them achieve their health and fitness goals and runs alongside them, helping spur on their motivation.

Delilah loves the autonomy of working for herself, and as a freelancer, she appreciates the security and stability her working relationship with the gym gives her.

Delilah’s learning, development and growth are important to her. Professionally she needs to continuously fine-tune the technical aspects of her work — her hard skills, by staying up to date with new techniques and practices that enhance good fitness, health and wellbeing. She also needs to continuously fine-tune her soft skills to help maintain excellent communication with all the people she interacts with — her clients and business, social and community relationships.

Delilah takes a combined approach to her learning, development and growth needs.

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She undertakes training and attends industry conferences and events to continuously learn, develop and grow in the technical aspects of her work. This helps her stay to date with new techniques and practices that enhance good fitness, health and wellbeing, which in turn helps her to best serve her clients.

To maintain excellent communication with all the people she interacts with, Delilah engages in a simple yet powerful learning, development and growth practice — she listens to everyone. Not only does she listen, as importantly, she is willing to shift gear to accommodate people’s preferences. That was why she began to create running programmes for her clients — she listened when they told her they enjoyed outdoor over indoor exercise. It sounds so simple, and yet it provided powerful learning, development and growth for Delilah in her WorkLife, in helping her best serve her clients, in enhancing their fitness, health and wellbeing.

Delilah talked to the team she collaborates with at the gym about her running programmes. They asked if she would lead on similar programmes for their members. She, of course, said yes. This additional work helped to increase the security and stability of her WorkLife. She also talked to the people who work at her local park where she leads her runs about her running programmes. They asked if she would lead on similar programmes for local residents. She, of course, said yes. She organises a community weekly group run, which she does for free. It’s important for Delilah to support her community through her work. In so doing, she’s helping people maintain good fitness, health and wellbeing.

Epilogue

Delilah was asked to speak at an industry conference about key skills needed for personal trainers in setting up in business for themselves. In her talk, she shared these:

Words of Wisdom

“Continuously fine-tuning your communication skills — your soft skills is as important as fine-tuning your technical skills — your hard skills. Staying up to date with good industry practices will enhance your learning, development and growth in your technical abilities. Listening well will enhance your learning, development and growth in your communication abilities. The first step is to listen to people’s wants and needs. The second step is to action this by creating the programmes that best serve those wants and needs. The third step is to create a space for people who want connection through exercise to a community — a community within a gym or a wider community within their neighbourhood. This combined approach will enhance not only your continuous learning, development and growth. It will also enhance your ability to best serve the wants and needs of your clients.”

Fine-Tuning Your Hard and Soft Skills Learning Development and Growth Needs Assignment

If you work for yourself, you will have the autonomy to decide the best actions you can take to continuously fine-tune your hard and soft skills learning, development and growth needs. If you’re employed, it’s reasonable to think that you will also have a certain amount of autonomy to do the same. Whether you’re self-employed or employed, you can follow these three steps to continuously fine-tune your hard and soft skills learning, development and growth needs.

Step 1: You will know the technical or hard skills required in your profession to allow you to do good work. Continue to learn, grow and develop by identifying the best ways for you to do this — i.e. for Delilah, it was undertaking training and attending industry conferences and events.

Step 2: You will know the communication or soft skills required in your profession to allow you to do good work. Continue to learn, grow and develop by identifying the best ways for you to do this — i.e. for Delilah, it was listening well to her client’s needs and wants and then following through by creating programmes to serve these.

Step 3: You will know your community — whether that’s your workplace community — i.e. for Delilah, that was the gym she worked out of. Or your wider community — i.e. for Delilah, that was the park that served her local community. Consider how you can give back or give forward in serving your community — i.e. Delilah organised a community weekly run. Helping others through your area of expertise — your hard and soft skills will help your learning, development and growth in these areas.

It’s a win/win situation. Enjoy!

If you found this post helpful, you may also like to take a look at The School Of WorkLife books, which are designed to help you fine-tune your learning, development and growth in the areas that are most important to you.

Carmel

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This publication brings you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. You will learn about people’s powerful stories of WorkLife struggles and successes.

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Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O' Reilly

WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer. Telling people’s powerful stories of WorkLife struggles and successes. Author of School Of WorkLife Books.

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