Finding what works to improve your work

By Mike Cardus  |  Organizational Development Consultant, Executive Exchange Facilitator

When you Google the phrase, “work skills needed for the future,” you will see that soft skills and the ability to adapt quickly to challenges are on most lists. In an article about the top talent trends of 2019, the LinkedIn Talent Solutions team lists soft skills as the top skills trend.

Graphic: LinkedIn Talent Solutions

This begs the question: how can one create and develop soft skills? The best way to build your soft skills and be a better person, leader, and team member is to enhance your self-awareness.

“Research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We’re less likely to lie, cheat, and steal. We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies.”  (Tasha Eurich, Harvard Business Review)

One way you can develop self-awareness—and support others in their self-awareness—is through coaching and feedback. On August 9, I’m teaming up with BN360, the young professional engagement and development program of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, to offer an interactive workshop on coaching. You can get more details and register here.

Here’s why coaching is valuable:

  • When you coach someone, you are listening, reflecting, communicating, and solving complex challenges.
  • When you are coached, you are thinking critically, developing multiple solutions to challenges, strengthening trust in yourself plus the team, and building safety for risk that will make ideas more resilient.


The ‘SOLVEDmethod’ and how it can help you coach others

During my upcoming BN360 workshop on coaching, I’ll introduce attendees to an evidence-based method for coaching called the SOLVEDmethod.

The SOLVEDmethod uses 4 basic principles:

  1. Focusing on solutions: Talk about solutions rather than about problems.
  2. Building on success: If something works, do more of it.
  3. Illuminating resources: Ask about and uncover competencies and skills.
  4. Finding new perspectives: Change the focus of your awareness.


The SOLVEDmethod enhances your self-awareness and problem-solving through an interactive dialog that encourages you to think about a current challenge and ask yourself a series of questions. What you would like to improve? What does the solution to that challenge look like? What is already working well? Where can you identify your next small step?

Through the discussion and feedback, you recognize what works for you and determine how to find success.

As you learn how to coach others and be coached through questions and solution-focused responses, you will see your progress,and others will notice. As the world of work becomes more complex, you will have the coaching skill-set to find what works and amplify it… and that is a soft-skill that will support your progress forever.

If you’d like to see how the SOLVEDmethod can support your progress, click below to download a free worksheet.

Download the Worksheet


Mike has a focused expertise in team building, managerial leadership, and organizational development. He is frequently asked to create solutions to address the development of high-performance teams, retention of talent, innovation of product and profit streams, group conflict, coaching of leaders, developing systems to drive positive behaviors, and development of skilled knowledge to increase organizational and personal effectiveness. Learn more about Mike here.