Secrets of Success – Continued

Continued from Secrets of Success: Soft Skills and Slow Work

  1. Prioritise and set boundaries: Identify your priorities and set clear boundaries to avoid overcommitting or taking on excessive workloads. Learn to say “no” when necessary and focus on tasks that align with your goals and values. By managing your workload and setting realistic expectations, you can reduce stress and create a more balanced work environment.
  2. Single-tasking: Instead of multitasking, embrace single-tasking. Dedicate focused periods of time to one task at a time, eliminating distractions and fully immersing yourself in the task at hand. This allows you to give your full attention and produce higher-quality work.
  3. Manage your time mindfully: Be intentional about how you allocate your time. Prioritize meaningful work and limit time spent on unproductive activities. Schedule breaks and create space for relaxation and reflection throughout the day to recharge and maintain focus.
  4. Cultivate self-care habits: Incorporate self-care practices into your work routine. Take short breaks to stretch, breathe, or practice mindfulness exercises. Prioritize proper nutrition, hydration, and regular exercise to support your overall well-being and energy levels.
  5. Update your communication skills: Be present and attentive in your interactions with colleagues and clients. Practice active listening, empathy, and effective communication to foster reliable relationships and enhance collaboration.
  6. Slow down your working pace by taking your time to think, plan, and execute tasks. Avoid rushing through assignments and allow yourself the space to think deeply, problem-solve creatively, and produce high-quality work.
  7. Shift your focus from solely outcomes and achievements to finding fulfilment in your work. Embrace curiosity, learn from challenges, and celebrate small victories along the way.
  8. Disconnect from technology: Take breaks from constant connectivity and technology. Set boundaries around checking emails and notifications outside of work hours to create dedicated periods of rest and mental rejuvenation.

It may take time to find the right balance and practices that work for you. Start by implementing small changes and gradually integrate slow-working principles into your daily work routine.

How can an Employer evaluate whether a candidate or employee is an effective “slow worker?”

This can be challenging for employers, as it requires observing and assessing employees’ behaviours. Here are a few ways employers may determine if an individual is an effective slow worker:

  1. Work quality: Employers can assess the quality of an individual’s work by noting their attention to detail, their thoughtfulness, and their commitment to delivering high-quality outcomes. Slow workers typically prioritise accuracy, precision, and thoroughness in their work.
  2. Time management: Slow workers focus on using their time effectively, avoid rushing through tasks, set realistic deadlines, prioritise accurately, and organise their workflow to ensure tasks are completed within the designated time frame and with the necessary attention to detail.
  3. Decision-making: Slow workers often take the time to analyse situations in depth, gather information, and consider various perspectives before making decisions. Employers can assess an individual’s decision-making ability by asking scenario-based questions during interviews or discussing their approach to complex problem-solving situations.
  4. Reflection: Slow workers often take the time to reflect on their work, learn from experiences, and continuously improve their skills. Employers can assess an individual’s reflective abilities by asking about lessons learned from previous projects or requesting examples of how they have incorporated feedback to enhance their performance.
  5. Employers may also consider seeking input from references or conducting behavioural assessments to gain further insights into an individual’s work approach, including their ability to balance efficiency with quality and their tendency to work at a sustainable pace.

How can Horses help us work more slowly and develop our soft skills?

Horses have been recognised as effective partners in developing soft skills and applying “slow work” principles for at least two decades. Equine-assisted Experiential Learning activities involving horses can provide unique opportunities that can help us develop their soft skills. Here are a few ways horses can help us benefit from knowing these two secrets of success:

  1. Communication: Interacting with horses requires clear and effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Working with horses can help us improve our communication skills by learning to be aware of our non-verbal communication cues and conveying our intentions clearly to establish a connection with the horse.
  2. Trust and Empathy: Building trust and empathy are essential for establishing a positive relationship with a horse. Horses are intuitive animals that can sense and respond to human emotions. Through activities such as grooming, leading, or riding, individuals develop a deeper understanding of trust, empathy, and the importance of building strong connections.
  3. Leadership and Assertiveness: Horses are herd animals that naturally look to a leader for guidance and direction. Working with horses provides an opportunity to practice and develop leadership skills. Individuals learn to be confident, assertive, and establish clear boundaries while leading and directing a horse. This can translate to improved leadership abilities in various contexts.
  4. Problem-solving and Adaptability: Horses can present various challenges and unexpected situations. When working with horses, individuals learn to think on their feet, adapt to changing circumstances, and find creative solutions to problems. This cultivates problem-solving skills, adaptability, and the ability to remain calm under pressure.
  5. Emotional Regulation and Self-awareness: Horses are perceptive animals that can mirror human emotions. Interacting with horses can help individuals develop emotional regulation skills by learning to manage their emotions effectively. Horses provide immediate feedback based on the individual’s emotional state, allowing individuals to become more self-aware and develop emotional intelligence.
  6. Teamwork and Collaboration: Many equine activities involve working in a team or group setting. Individuals learn to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate their actions with others to achieve a shared goal. Working together with horses promotes teamwork, cooperation, and the understanding of the importance of collective efforts.
  7. Confidence and Resilience: Overcoming challenges and building a relationship with a horse can boost confidence and resilience. Horses can provide a non-judgmental environment where individuals can take risks, face fears, and build self-assurance. This can have a positive impact on personal and professional growth.

It is worth noting that engaging in equine-assisted activities and therapies should be done under the guidance of experienced professionals who are trained in facilitating such programs. They can create structured activities and provide debriefing sessions that help individuals reflect on their experiences and apply the lessons learned to real-life situations.

Overall, interacting with horses can be a powerful and transformative experience that facilitates the development of a wide range of soft skills, contributing to personal growth and enhancing interpersonal effectiveness.