What do you take from personal to professional life?

Severance (TV series available on AppleTV) is easily in my Top 3 series of all time. There, people have separate minds: who you are in your personal life has no idea of who you are in your professional life, and vice versa.

In real life, it’s quite the opposite; the two things feed one another all the time. Much of what has been called soft skills is exactly at this intersection. If you communicate well, know how to listen, etc., these are skills in your “two” lives. Let’s talk about two of those skills: ownership and thinking things through.

Ownership is not working yourself to death; it’s being responsible enough to go after a task, to make things happen. And if they don’t, that’s fine; you trust the person will let you know they’re having problems. Trust walks hand in hand with ownership.

By thinking things through, I mean imagining the steps necessary to get something done, at least to a minimal level. Are you going to cook a recipe? The person has to list the ingredients beforehand, plan the trip to the grocery store, time to cook, utensils, etc. Want to do a project? It’s more or less the same thing.

The question is: is it possible to teach these two skills within the corporate environment? I honestly don’t think so. I don’t like the idea of innate talent or gifts, but in practice, I’ve never seen anyone changing that much. And you? Have you seen it happen? If yes, how?

Felipe Elia

Associate Director of Platform Engineering at 10up, WordPress Core Contributor, Global Polyglots Mentor in WordPress.org, and Locale Manager in the Brazilian WP Community.

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