October 18th, 2018
Guest Blog by Alex Webb of Flying Start XP
Look back over your child’s life and you will see years of planning and strategy. You were the one who worked out how to get them to eat vegetables. You wheeled out the chocolate buttons and did what it took to get you both through potty training. When it came to the transition from cosy primary school to the wild world of secondary, there you were, making sure all they needed was in place. At each big moment, you harnessed all your knowledge of your child, and came up with a plan.
As they move towards adulthood, your role is similar but different: you need to pass on the baton, and make sure that they themselves have the self-knowledge needed to come up with the plan.
Helping your child towards self-knowledge is a powerful gift. Knowing their own strengths will help them do the one thing all parents want their children to do: make good decisions.
At Flying Start XP, we meet a lot of parents who welcome expert guidance in speeding up their child’s journey towards self-awareness. We work face-to-face with young people, exploring every aspect of their personality. They develop a picture of their strengths and areas for development. They learn where they naturally add value to a team, and how to communicate within a team so that each individual can give their best performance.
In fact, this is how we met Elaine Halligan, London Director of The Parent Practice. She has two adult children, one at University and one entering the world of work, and we worked with them both on using The C-ME profiling tool. Elaine says
“I was delighted when both my children said they were open to working with Alex, and they were fascinated by the results of the C-ME assessment. It raised their awareness of how they interact with others, their personality type, how they are perceived by others and most importantly where their strengths lie. With this new self-awareness, they are able to make more informed career choices. Alex has a fresh and vibrant style, and teens and young adults love working with her. Often we are so invested in our children’s schooling and education, we fail to take note of how important the soft skills piece is as they enter into the adult years –it’s vital we give them that positive edge.”
One of the most powerful tools we use is C-Me, an online profiling tool based on colour. Following a 10-minute questionnaire, individuals are located on the wheel to show their colour blend and given an in-depth behavioural profile. Young people respond strongly to the simplicity and strength of this tool. They’re able to remember the colour blend that define their particular strengths, and refer back to them throughout education and their early career. This tool is also used in business, helping to build highly effective teams. Giving young people these foundations is a huge step to building confidence and self-belief.
Doing this work with us allows you child to come back to you and have a new and different type of conversation. They’re full of excitement at discoveries that will possibly seem completely obvious to you: that they are hugely competitive, for example, or that they can’t relax when they feel that someone in the room is unhappy. Now you can get them talking positively about who they are, and you can help them speak confidently about their unique potential and the value they bring.
“If you are emotionally intelligent, even if you have average intellectual intelligence, you will always come out on top” (Dr. Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE, award-winning business coach)
Emotional intelligence is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. The world of work is changing fast. We are coming into the ‘conceptual age’, where the need for soft skills like communication, empathy and storytelling is key. We need to be able to do all the things that robots can’t: that is the future of work.
Emotional intelligence relies heavily on self-knowledge. We can’t work with others unless we understand the way we work ourselves. And young people no longer enter forgiving work environments where they can hone these skills over years ‘on the job’. Employers are looking for them to work in teams, manage up and down, and make a real contribution to the business from day one.
Hard skills will still be needed to be shortlisted for jobs, but increasingly we hear that it’s soft skills (teamwork, creativity, communication, leadership potential) that get the job and that determine career progression.
Like it or not, your child is facing up to a decade that will be interview-intensive. Again and again they’ll have a short space of time to talk to strangers about why they deserve an opportunity more than the next person in the queue.
Sadly, we see plenty of young people get beaten down by this process. They can’t understand why they miss out, and they take the result of each interview massively to heart. They settle for second best, or change tack, away from a career that they might well have been perfect for.
To survive and thrive in a personal-interview based work culture, self-knowledge is the absolute foundation. Simply being able to put together an articulate, strongly spoken sentence about what they are good at will make more difference than most people ever guess. At Flying Start XP, we spend hours on constructing this sentence and practicing saying it loudly and clearly.
With self-knowledge comes resilience. Doing the work required to know what they really want and where their strengths lie gives them purpose and direction. Knockbacks still hurt, but they can bounce back and continue with their journey. If they have a C-Me profile, they’re also pre-equipped with some personalised colour profiling on how they receive and process feedback. This helps them take a step back and use that extra self-awareness to recover and soldier on.
You know your child’s unique potential. More than anything, you want them to achieve it. The wayforward is to make sure they know what you know: they have unique strengths, they have a contribution to make, and they are big and strong enough to choose a direction and go for it.
Flying Start XP
We work directly with schools and businesses to inspire and open minds to accelerate career development. For further opportunities such as psychometric profiling, 1:1 coaching, C-Me workshops and employability courses please visit our website www.flyingstartxp.com or contact us at email@example.com.
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