Uprated skills

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To follow on from underrated skills.

In a remote world where everything’s changed and long-term is next month, which skills have gained in importance?

Starting withI’m not sure

False certainty can be a huge risk at the best of times, even more so when the world has changed and no-one really knows for sure what’s going to happen. But we are conditioned to show conviction for our ideas at every turn, as that’s what tends to be rewarded. Most companies default to a culture of advocacy rather than inquiy. Framing deliberations with “I’m not sure” allows everyone in to question the usual assumptions.


Some projects need to be scrapped immediately, some put on hold, new ones considered. This is difficult. It is all too easy to want to cling on to pet ideas and projects that we had grown fond of, or mourn their passing. It is a skill to be able to ditch everything and just start again (dare I say “pivot”) right away if needed.

Amplifying certaintiesIdentifying small first steps

The flip side of adaptability. When everything’s off the table it can be easy to get paralysed by uncertainty and not move forward at all. It’s a skill to be able to identify what we can count on in today’s world (“amplifying certainties”), and devise small do-able first steps that we can all agree on to get us going.


Slack, Teams, email, Yammer, Twitter , Linkedin. There’s more coming at us than ever and all through the same screen. Never been more important to be able to filter and triage what really matters to avoid spending entire days being governened by your inbox.


Think everything from messages to emails to blogs or reports, it all matters more now in a world of less face-to-face contact. How we write matters. Also, writers are better thinkers


In a noisier-than-ever virtual world the battle for attention is real. We all need to get to the point, quicker.

Saying “stop”

We all need barriers between work and home life. The discipline to say stop and disconnect each evening is what allows us to keep the energy going tomorrow, and next week.

Self compassion – be kind to yourself

Let’s be honest, much of our usual day-to-day consumption and activity outside work is a reward for getting through a tough week. We self medicate with alcohol, sugary foods and nice restaurants. We decompress in the company of friends and colleagues. We enjoy the dopamine hit of an extravagant purchase. With a lot of these off the table we need to make sure we’re not being too hard on ourselves.

Liked this? You may also like my thoughts on underrated skills and how to think like someone else.

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