After two successful panel discussions, we closed our three-part RAHM Digital: Trial and Error event series with an interactive session on “The Power of Skills and Strengths Visualisation”, led by Noel Braganza and Daniel Nilsson.
As LGBT+ leaders with years of expertise in the fields of product design, sales and marketing, Noel and Daniel have been part of our network since the RAHM Contest Berlin last year. In a previous article for us, Noel shared his experiences of discovering and recruiting skilled teams using unconventional methods, while the pair have also written about their experiences of founding their own company together. In this RAHM Digital session, they engaged RAHMers using a workshop-like format that encompassed discussions, questions for participants to answer, and tasks – all on the topic of skills management.
Leading the audience into a discussion about our ways of describing and conceptualising skills, Noel and Daniel gave a friendly, engaging introduction packed with interesting nuggets of information – I had no idea CVs were invented way back in the 1950s – that underlined both the importance of understanding our own strengths, and how outdated many of our current approaches to team recruitment and skill management are.
Explaining the idea behind their platform MuchSkills, they pointed to their research that links employees’ sense of wellbeing and career fulfilment to the question of whether their current roles enable them to utilise their skills and passions. Noel and Daniel elaborated on the discoveries they’d made while doing consulting work, explaining how one undermotivated workforce had been re-energized thanks to a reassignment of positions – for example, allowing those whose strength was problem-solving to now put this into practice, rather than be limited to working on the final stages of tasks.
However, this RAHM Digital session wasn’t just about listening – it was about doing! Thanks to pre-session instructions from Noel and Daniel, most of the attendees had already created their profile, so it was all go on the trying-out front. Following the lead of the pair, who demonstrated the different aspects of the site, everyone went to MuchSkills and experimented with the pleasingly intuitive resources there.
As a visual person, I loved the opportunity to make my own ‘job focus’ and ‘soft skills’ bubbles, altering the size of circles to reflect their relative importance to my role or skillset. The reaction from RAHMers, as they identified their own key skills and watched Daniel and Noel demonstrate how this kind of skill management could be used, was extremely positive. There were a couple of interesting questions about what RAHMers could take directly from the session: while Noel’s and Daniel’s work was undeniably useful for employers or managers wanting to see which skills were present in their team, and for brainstorming ways to increase employees’ job satisfaction, what could we take out of this as individuals?
In our current situation, the answer to this seems clear. The working world is undergoing a massive transformation, and roles will be reshuffled and careers replanned as the dust settles. Increasingly, the responsibility to find projects and tasks we’re passionate about isn’t just on managers – it’s on ourselves. We need to understand our skills to set our own goals and challenge ourselves; to realise which roles we tend to go for and where we should aim in future. Especially in a time of crisis, understanding what we want to spend our time doing is more crucial than ever, and Noel’s and Daniel’s method of conceptualising our skills and strengths seems perfect for this.
Although this was the end of our Outsmart the Crisis series, it isn’t the end of RAHM Digital! As part of the STICKS & STONES Digital, the first ever online LGBT+ career fair, we’ll be curating an event featuring LGBT+ leaders! Sign up for the fair here.
Article by Emma