The Journey 2020 The Journey Blog

Identifying Skills

Last week I wrote about acknowledging the skills that I have and, following on from that, identifying the skills I think I need to learn (and, therefore, identifying my skill-gaps and weaknesses). All of the skills I wrote about were practical ‘hard’ skills (building spreadsheets, building websites, learning various cloud platforms etc.) but I think the soft skills are equally important to acknowledge – both the strengths and the weaknesses.

One really important tool that I have been introduced to is the Emotional Culture Deck by Riders&Elephants. A few weeks ago I caught up with Lotty Robertswho taught me that the deck, normally used within organisations and teams of people, could also be used for my own self-employment journey to help me work out the feelings that I need to feel to succeed and also acknowledge the feelings that I don’t want to feel but are inevitable in life.

The first step was to choose the 5 most relevant cards to me which fell under the heading, ‘My success relies on feeling this’. My answer in order of importance was 1) understanding, 2) welcome, 3) engaged, 4) empathetic, and 5) involved.

Then, having explained why I chose those cards, I completed the same task for the heading, ‘I don’t want to feel this way (but I might from time to time)’. My answer in order of importance was 1) disheartened, 2) alone, 3) doubt, 4) impatient, and 5) unwelcome. Funnily enough, they’re close to a perfect opposite of the way I need to feel in order to succeed so it’s crucial that I come up with ways of identifying when I’m feeling any of these negative feelings and, furthermore, develop strategies for coping and overcoming these feelings.

Having completed the Emotional Culture Deck session, Lotty provided me with a copy of The Emotional Culture Deck Toolkit for homework (!) a great document for reflecting and expanding on the work I’d already one with the deck. The Toolkit gets you to dig deeper into your chosen cards by asking questions like: 1) my success relies on feeling.. 2) I feel this when.. 3) to feel this more often I need to.. and 4) I won’t feel this if people.. By answering these questions, I’m able to start working out how to know when I’m feeling disheartened (as I know that I will sometimes) and then know what to do when I recognise I’m feeling that way.

Then there are a couple of questions which encourage reflection about skills you’re trying to learn (very appropriate for me at this stage of my life!) and habits you’re trying to break.

All in all, I think the session with Lotty helped me to realise the kind of environment I need to be in to create successful outcomes for myself and my customers – very worthwhile and highly recommended! You can check out Lotty’s work here: and find our more about The Emotional Culture Deck here: 

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