Something we often hear in these challenging times, is that jobs are becoming available, but they’re ‘new’ jobs, out of reach for the unemployed who possess skill sets that have lost their previous worth.
Sounds to me like a presumption riddled with faulty wiring.
One values-based solution seems pretty obvious: “Matchmaker, matchmaker find me a match.”
And who will be the matchmaker?
In my mind, it must be you, who are the Alaka‘i Managers who live, work, manage and lead with Aloha.
Let’s revisit the foundational, belief-fed basics of what this means.
Aloha is the value of unconditional love and acceptance. Aloha elevates the human condition, exploring and celebrating every nook and cranny of a person’s knowledge, strength, talent, capacity and intentions, and thus, their human worth.
‘Unconditional’ means that if this is the value you possess as a manager, you cannot accept that there are conditions to the love and acceptance you give; you are a steward, advocate, and mentor of the unconditional workplace.
Now this doesn’t mean you have blinders on to the challenges you must work with. It means you do whatever you can to overcome those challenges. It means you create a workplace culture which is both healthy and productive.
More often than not, it means you groom people and help them grow, and not that you pick and choose among them, laying down your conditions. (You know this: Conditions and expectations are NOT the same thing.)
Do you recall the epigraph of Managing with Aloha?
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German writer, scientist and philosopher
The mismatch of job and skillset is a challenge, but it’s a temporary one. It’s fixable. It has fixes that are completely within the realm of possibility for you — if you doubt that, we have to revisit your calling as a manager, for again, managers are supposed to elevate the human condition.
People who want to work, and who hear that their skills have become irrelevant, are being deeply hurt hearing this, for no one — no one! — wants to feel irrelevant. We managers are the people who can help them identify their own gifts.
To make a good match, identify your best ingredients: What are you matching?
What I’m discovering in my coaching, and in several deeper conversations about this topic of “skills relevancy” is this:
What we often need BEFORE new skills training, is better vocabulary. We need a for-today language that surrounds the skill sets we value most in our current business environment. We need to articulate what we want, doing so more clearly and more consistently, and in the way that is strength-relevant over skills-conditional.
“They did not have to create a new gig for me. All they had to do was not hold me back, and support me in figuring it out for myself, so I could find my own answers.”
— Managing Strengths and not Standards
Our requirements may not be that ‘new’ after all… because “the times, they are a-changing,” our requirements have gotten freshened up in some way. Thus our “Language of We” needs freshening up as well. This always happens when we grow!
When we speak with the Language of We, we often find that people do have the skills, or at least an at-the-ready foundation for cultivating them quickly, and all they needed was this aha moment, one you, their manager, have arrived at too: “Ah! We are a match, aren’t we!”
Let’s work together, in the way of Aloha.
Let’s expect that we will be unconditionally matched up, and we simply need to Ho‘o, and make it happen.
Alaka‘i Managers, we need you; get busy as the matchmakers, advocates, and mentors of the human condition that I know you are.
From the Managing with Aloha Archives:
What do the truly great managers of our world believe in? (See the whole list of 10 Beliefs)
1. Great managers believe that people are innately good; they must. Without this core belief and faith in people, great management is not possible.
For more: Unconditional Acceptance, Nature and Nurture
4. Great managers believe that all people have strengths which can be made stronger, and that their weaknesses can be compensated for, so they become unimportant to the work at hand.
For more: Job Creation Employs Strengths, Then People
9. Great managers believe it is their job to remove barriers and obstacles so people can attain the level of greatness they are destined for. They believe that “can’t” is a temporary state of affairs, and that everything is only impossible until the first person does it.
For more: When Learning Gets Overwhelming