Personal Skills for Professional Excellence

As part of the “Skills for Success” seminars developed for The Abundance Company, Bob Czimbal reviewed ten essential skills, as published by the US Department of Labor, Education and Commerce, and went on to develop an ‘Action Plan for Success”. These skills and the Action Plan are summarised below.

Personal Skills essential for Success: These personal skills are valuable assets to a company. Quality products and services can only be created by a quality work force.

  1. Leadership & Teamwork:
    forms partnerships to exchange resources; can lead or follow as needed; able to draw on strengths and adjust for weakness; positive and inspiring
  2. Communication… Working Well Together:
    able to communicate ideas clearly; asks questions and actively listen; sensitive to the needs of co-workers and clients; relates well to different personalities
  3. Self-Esteem:
    accepts self and works to improve skills; pride in self and in work; sees self-worth as a professional asset; promotes confidence in self and co-workers
  4. Motivation:
    maintains high morale during the toughest times; able to operate with minimal supervision; taps into an inner strength; accepts responsibility for actions
  5. Stress Management:
    removes unnecessary stresses; works well under pressure; develops the skills needed to prevent distress; sees finish lines rather than dead lines
  6. Empowerment:
    committed to sharing responsibilities and credit; sees problems as opportunities to learn and grow; energised by successes of co-workers; manages time and energy wisely
  7. Health:
    makes good choices concerning well-being; balances work and home life; arrives at work with batteries fully charged; works safely and encourages others
  8. Courage:
    willing to struggle with problems until solved; adapts quickly to change; able to take a risk and deal with uncertainly; confronts barriers by going over, under or around
  9. Creativity:
    uses information to improvise new possibilities; loves to learn and continuously develops abilities; combines insight and critical thinking
  10. Effectiveness… Working Smart:
    professional: creates quality products and services; proactive: acts to prevent problems; progressive: surpasses prior achievements; productive: gets the job done effectively

Action Plan for Success: Review the skills. Identify your strong personal skills. Identify the skills that you want to develop.

  • Self Assessment: Discover where you are now and where you want to go. What are the personal/professional skills, assets, virtues and talents you currently have that assist you?
  • Desire: Make sure you choose something you really want to change so that you are ready, willing and able to do it. What are examples of areas of improvement that you find enriching, exciting and will unleash your creativity? What will bring out the best in yourself?
  • Focus: Having a sense of focus is one of the main reasons people succeed. Select a concise goal and make a clear plan that defines your actions for the next year. How will you keep your attention clearly focused on the goal? Choose a plan you can begin now.
  • Commitment: Your action plan is an agreement with yourself in which you state what you will do. This is a written document where you explain your commitment to making your dreams come true. A suggestion is to make signed copies of your plan and post it at home and/or at work as a reminder of your commitment.
  • Support: While on the quest who will you invite to support, encourage and show appreciation? Find mentors who are eager to assist you.
  • Skills: What kinds of information and resources do you need to be successful? Do you want to sharpen a skill or add a new skill?
  • Progress: How will you keep track of your progress? Throughout the year reassess and improve your plan. What are a series of small steps that will help you go the distance? Remember, it is important to realize that change comes in small increments
  • Motivation: Know why you want to succeed in this area of endeavour. How will you keep yourself inspired? What are some of the challenges you will need to overcome? What are attitudes, activities and actions that will assist you in achieving your goals? How will you reward yourself along the way?

Go to: to access the original, and additional, handouts.