Archives for soft skills development

Leading With Vulnerability – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

Vulnerability in leadership proved to be a very fruitful topic, and I thank our C3 community for selecting it as our March Answer the Call to Conscious Leader event topic. Senior Human Resources Leader, Vince Blando, and The Believe Coach, Nick Dillon, offered us invaluable insight from their personal experience as leaders who model vulnerability. If you didn’t make it live, catch the replay by joining the C3 community.

Here are the questions we answered in our hour-long discussion:

  • How can you create other leaders who model vulnerability?
  • How can you be a true vulnerable leader?
  • Can you really be open to every opportunity without being open and vulnerable yourself?
  • What does being vulnerable really require of leaders?
  • What does vulnerability feel like when you don’t possess those qualities?
  • How did our panelists develop those qualities?
  • Why do you have to be willing to be vulnerable?
  • What happens when a leader holds back?
  • Are people born leaders?
  • When does being vulnerable serve a leader well and when doesn’t it?
  • What is it that you express to people that makes vulnerability an effective leadership tool?
  • What is something we all need up-skilling in?
  • How can a leader who admits being vulnerable inspire a team member to elevate performance?
  • How does lacking vulnerability backfire?
  • What is the major gap that keeps leaders from being effectively vulnerable?
  • What do leaders need to do to welcome vulnerability?
  • What is it about being a vulnerable leader that enables your team to show up as their best selves?
  • What is the only way to be effective as a leader these days?
  • What are perceptions of vulnerability that are now very outdated and need to go?
  • What happens when you are a vulnerable performer working for a leader who does not model vulnerability?
  • What happens if you grow weary of being available to your team members?
  • Is it appropriate to show your team members that you feel their pain or should you detach?
  • How has compartmentalizing pain and trauma been working?
  • How have our panelists navigated modeling and normalizing vulnerability in the workplace?
  • Why is now the time for us to go from aspirational to executable in being whole at work?
  • How do we gain traction in the movement to normalize vulnerability and empathy?
  • What are the consequences of not enabling empathy in the workplace?
  • What are the hard business reasons companies need to go in this direction?
  • What is the only true way to attain 360˚ leadership and be effective?
  • Do people leave jobs or leaders?
  • What happens when people practice the new brand of leadership in traditional business environments?
  • Where can a leader start introducing vulnerability in traditional business environments?
  • Where do EAPs fall short and how does a leader fill that gap?
  • How has the lack of financial stability spurred a greater need for vulnerability in leadership?
  • When your past has mistakes, what is the mindset to move forward from that as a vulnerable leader?
  • What does the military teach around leadership and does it conflict or align with being a vulnerable leader?
  • What is a major mistake that leaders make after having success in leadership that inhibits vulnerability?
  • What is “contextual empathy”?
  • What does a leader have to do to maintain psychological safety to continually nurture vulnerability?
  • What are the landmines associated with being a vulnerable leader?

Recommended reading: Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage.

Once in the C3 Community, make sure you engage – like, comment, further the conversation, invite panelists and other members to connect.

Potential future ATCCL topics this conversation spurred:

  • Increasing access to resources and exposure to opportunity
  • Contextual empathy

Are you an expert in any of these topics? Introduce yourself inside of the C3 community and maybe you’ll be a panelist!

Here are other upcoming opportunities to share the stage with your C3 co-hosts:

Are you on Clubhouse?

Every other Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. EST, including this week, March 9th, Lawrence and I will be going live on Clubhouse to further discuss topics related to conscious leadership and find out what content the conscious leadership community most demands.

>> Follow us both on Clubhouse – Karen: @ripplemaker and Lawrence: @bossllab

On Twitter?

I have returned to do Twitter chats. Join me Wednesday, March 10th at 11 AM EST to engage in Q&A around Conscious Leadership by following me @EpicCareering and the hashtag #ConsciousLeaderChat.

See you there!

The Human League – Human

Vote for your favourite 80s hit of all time: to more from The Human League: a p…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

5 Ways to Develop Soft Skills Employers Love

Climbing to Success with Life Skills by Bunches and Bits of Flickr

Climbing to Success with Life Skills by Bunches and Bits of Flickr

Have you ever felt like soft skills such as communicating effectively, better managing your time, or building relationships was something you are gifted with, and can not be taught? The belief that soft skills can not be taught is a common misconception and Geek Manager Blogger Meri Williams refers to this belief as the “Soft Skills Fairy.” Many people feel some are blessed with soft skills, while others must languish in their inability to grasp them. The truth is that anyone can learn soft skills, much like learning to program code, cook, or fix a car. These skills can be obtained in a variety of ways including reading books, personal development courses, and life coaching. In “9 Soft Skills Every Employee Needs, Regardless of Technical Skill,” I discussed the skills employers want and how knowledge of these skills are not enough. Honing these skills are vital to your employability and professional growth.


  1. Setting Goals

Carli Lloyd, a professional soccer star, did not start out as a winner. She was physically unfit, was not mentally strong enough, and her character needed work. She doubled down and improved herself. Lloyd is now considered one of the most physically and mentally fit athletes in professional soccer, and she is lauded for her character. Carli Lloyd’s coach pointed out to her when she was aspiring to join the national soccer team that athletes at this level work hard to obtain results. They live, breathe, and sleep their big goal. They train mentally and physically from the time they wake up until the time they sleep. It takes extreme discipline, and learning which soft skills to develop also requires discipline. Soft skill development requires awareness at a conscious level, and then to become unconsciously competent requires extreme regimen and consistent awareness, for which external guidance can be pivotal. Becoming unconsciously competent takes place in stages.

Many people have blind spots when it comes to their own soft skills. A skills assessment quiz is one of the best ways to pinpoint where your skills are lacking. Setting goals allows you to track your development. One of your goals can be to identify all of the soft skills gaps that stand to threaten your professional success by either taking a quiz or working with a coach.


  1. Self-assessment

After completing the quiz and setting goals, take a moment to sit down and decide which skills you need to develop. Prioritize the skills you will develop first, and create a list reasons why you want to improve these soft skills. The list of reasons can range from “I am having trouble connecting to my co-workers,” to “I want to become a better leader.” Whatever your reasons are, they are personal and unique to you. After you have created your list, share it with a coach, mentor, or friend to help keep you accountable. An accountability partner can keep you on track and serve as support.

All of the planning in the universe is useless without a solid plan of action. Once you know where you need to improve, and you have a method of accountability, it is time to put the task of learning soft skills into motion.


  1. Work with a coach

The use of a life coach can be another method to identify the blind spots in your soft skills development. People often need someone else to angle the mirror correctly to see what they cannot see in themselves to improve various aspects of their lives. A coach can provide this mirror, a path to move forward, and the ability to push you harder on that path. The development of soft skills is similar to learning physical skills. Unless you exercise those skills, they will not grow. You can also think of a good coach as a captain helping you to navigate the waters of personal and professional development. You could complete these tasks on your own, but arriving at your destination will take much longer.


  1. Reading materials

Reading books on how to improve your soft skills can be a great source of encouragement and insight. Additionally, reading can provide a useful road map on your journey to develop your soft skills. Here are ten great books to help you start the journey:


  1. Dr. Travis Bradberry- Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  2. Stephen Covey- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
  3. Dale Carnegie- How to Win Friends and Influence People
  4. Dale Carnegie – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  5. Andrea Gardner – Change Your Words, Change Your World
  6. Dan Millman – Peaceful Warrior
  7. Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow
  8. Allyson Lewis – The Seven Minute Difference
  9. Carol S. Dweck – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  10. Susan Cain- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking


  1. Practice, practice, practice

Once you have begun to develop your soft skills, it is time to put them into practice. You would not expect an athlete to go into their first game without practicing, nor would you expect a programmer to release code without extensive testing. In the same manner, you can practice your soft skills. You can join associations or hobby-related clubs. If you really want to put your newly acquired skills to the test, attend a soft skills training workshop. Take and graciously accept feedback, as it will help you keep track of your development progress and help you target areas of weakness. Practicing your soft skills will allow you to sharpen them outside of the workplace. As you continue to put your soft skills to use, recalling them will become easier and will feel more natural.


We often think soft skills can not be improved, or are notoriously difficult to develop. In truth, like any area of your professional and personal life worth developing, the development of soft skills is not an easy path. The good news is that anyone can learn and improve these skills if they are willing. As I said in my previous article, technical skills are what employers notice, but soft skills are what help you land and keep you employed. Taking the time to commit to learning soft skills can improve your employment situation by making it easier to land, to constantly grow, and to take your career to new heights.