Top Three Skills
Skill. What do you think of when you hear that word? The ability to do something well or possibly even master it? Do you think of your favorite player on your favorite team? Or maybe your hairstylist? Believe it or not, we all have skills. Some that we haven’t even given a second thought. Maybe it’s the way you’re able to calm a room full of screaming children, or how your barista hands you a latte designed with perfect foam artistry.
I believe it's important to reflect on your unique set of skills, which is why I’ve compiled a list of three of my top ones. Once you’ve read, think about it - what are yours?
When I led a team of estheticians at a day spa in Colorado, as with any leadership position, administrative skills were a must. Keeping track of time-off requests, creating a new hire training protocol and planning events for us all to attend was just a part of the responsibilities. Although I truly enjoyed giving relaxing facials and waxing, I felt energized by the “paperwork”. I remember when I helped open the new franchise location in Fort Collins - the to-do list seemed daunting. Within one week, I had to train our estheticians (who were new to the industry), create and manage a schedule for all employees (16 people), book treatments for our first day of business (40+ appointments) without scheduling software, and organize 3 esthetician rooms (which had hundreds of little items that all had to be placed perfectly). This may seem stressful to most, and in the heat of the moment it was, but I remember leaving after our grand opening and feeling like I was a part of something really amazing. Part of a team that needed my help.
Even after I moved on from that position, scheduling and keeping track of dates at home was my responsibility. Weekend trip to California? Researched, planned and booked in a day! Husband needs to go on a last minute work trip and doesn’t have time to figure out the details? Hotel, flight and rental car taken care of in a couple of hours (while staying in budget, of course).
Ronald Reagan once said, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
Being an esthetician, sometimes there is only so much you can do in a treatment - then it comes down to the client’s home care routine. I had a client with severe acne, and although facial treatments were helping, I wasn’t seeing the results I hoped for. I could tell there was something going on internally that was causing her skin to react in such an inflammatory way but knew I had to be motivating as I approached this conversation. I told her that in order to continue progress, I would need her to do a few specific things - change her diet, start taking a probiotic and use facial products at home in the order I described.
A month later, she came in for her appointment and confessed she hadn’t been sticking to my recommendations as strictly as she would have liked. That, combined with seasonal allergies, had made her skin even worse. I encouraged her, and told her that it wasn’t too late to try again and that she could do this!
The next month, she had lost about 10 pounds and her skin was well on its way to complete recovery. It worked! She ended up writing a review on Google and has continued her lifestyle change with great progress.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a compassionate person. If family members were fighting, I felt very uneasy until the issue was settled. If gossip was floating around at work, I tried to bring a positive attitude into the breakroom to change the scene. Harmony is important at home, work, and just about everything in between.
When I volunteered at my church’s youth group, mentoring teenage girls was a part of the responsibility. Some of you hear the words “teenage girls” and think that no mentor on earth is prepared to deal with them. Well, I used to be one of them and knew I couldn’t keep my help from those who needed it. There was one time in particular that stood out to me - a mission trip to Joplin, Missouri. After long days of physical labor, we were typically all tired and hangry (yes, hungry and slightly angry). One girl was frustrated with her parents (who were on the trip as well), and another was waking up in the middle of the night - screaming from bad dreams. We were all definitely feeling the exhaustion. At some point during the trip, I gather all the girls into our room for a braiding party. Yes, it’s a thing. The simple act of having your hair touched is incredibly calming, and soon all the girls were laughing and smiling. Everyone’s attitude changed for the better.
When compassion and understanding come together, I believe stressful situations can be handled with grace. Although this is a minor example, I believe any stressful situation can help us realize how important harmony is.
Now ask yourself - what are you skilled at? And more importantly… how are you using that to make a difference?