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Foundational Skills For Future Readiness

Written by: Anuradha Rathore, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


‘Be Confident! Get them, tiger!’. Well-intended parents yell from the stands, cheering their six-year-olds. The players look at them, puzzled, ‘I would love to, but HOW?’

Young design team in an informal meeting inside the office work place.

When the same children go to school, we tell them, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions.’ Yet somehow, we forget to teach them ‘how to be fearless enough to ask a question that may not sound very intelligent.’ And my favorite,’ Be assertive ‘ to a new manager leading a team. I know what it means ‒ having confidence and a forceful personality. Great, now you just bundled confidence and forcefulness all in one without giving a blueprint of HOW? Here are some more esoteric skill sets we ask of our teams:

  • Manage your time better and prioritize.

  • Show a little resilience.

  • Collaborate

  • Speak up

  • Make time for yourself and be mindful

  • Get out of the comfort zone

  • Ask for help. Show some vulnerability.

  • Be ok with failing.

  • Bring your whole self to work.

  • Be authentic

We expect these skills to just show up on demand. We assume that everyone should just have mastered these competencies. The last few years of upheaval have forced us to look at these critical skills differently. As Covid-19 stopped us in our tracks and accelerated some business practices already in motion, like automation, hybrid work, the overlapping boundaries of work and home, underlying stress of just doing life at an unprecedented speed, It also unearthed foundational skill gaps in our workforce and brought them out in the open. We know the human mind is not designed for erratic changes, yet we expect our teams to adapt and respond optimally to these shifting situations without formal training.

So how do we train skills and mindsets that are not very well defined, not neatly worded, and fit a bento box with a bow on top? There are structured training programs available if you want to learn a technical skill like coding. One can enroll in a barrage of leadership programs and hope to become a better leader. But I see a gap that I can’t unsee when it comes to developing these core skills. There are at least 1500 books listed on Amazon and other websites that talk about Time - Management. In addition, there is no shortage of podcasts, webinars, and other resources available on different platforms. Yet, most of us repeatedly say, ‘I don’t have time. My mental capacity is overtaxed. I just don’t have the bandwidth’ I wonder why. You see, we are drowning in information. We have access to too much knowledge but are starving for application, reflection, and motivation. Time management skills, for instance, translate to productivity, creativity, better mental health, and stress reduction. As it turns out, mastering this skill goes straight to our bottom line and impacts our personal life. We needed to get creative and develop skill-up programs to address these foundational skill gaps and strengthen the internal fortitude of teams and leaders so they could thrive in this unpredictable, ever-changing ecosystem.

I believe that sometimes arbitrary methods are the most radical and creative response to conventional wisdom. Therefore, we decided to combine the traditional training methods with a customized approach. These programs that we designed are the culmination of lots of lateral thinking, years of experience, disasters, and triumphs of trying out various tools, Here is a snapshot of our three-stage training programs at Moonshot to address these elusive yet critical skills.

Enrich – This is the program's first phase, where we work one-on-one with the participants to understand their current mindset and beliefs. This phase focuses on their individual needs and goals exclusively. In the context of developing better Time Management, we explore some first principal questioning.

  • ‘Are you busy because you don’t fully understand how to manage and prioritize your task?’ or

  • Are you busy because you have been seduced into believing that productivity is directly proportional to filling your time mindlessly?

It will be an oversight to put a group of people in a pre-set training box and hope they all come out mastering how to manage time and become more productive and creative. Enrich phase is an excellent opportunity for us to honor individual strengths, challenges, and thought processes. These sessions put the participant’s minds at ease that their concerns are being addressed, and they will get a chance to build their toolkit. Elevate – In one-on-one coaching, the coach or the rest of the group does not see you interact and engage with others. We learned that the one-on-one sessions might not fully benefit the participants, especially in foundational skills development. Therefore, we bring the participants together for peer coaching in the second phase. In our many years of experience, we have learned that peer coaching allows us to create a psychologically safe space for more profound dialogues, powerful interactions, and constructive feedback. Ideally, the members will have different personalities, learnings, and objectives. In addition, they will have a very diverse worldview. These differences will allow you to fill in the blind spots you did not know existed in the first place. In almost every post-assessment, participants rank the group coaching the highest. They walk away with the core support network that eventually becomes a source for valuable exchange of ideas and insights. And some of these relationships often continue beyond the program's time frame. Embark – We learn best by doing, implementing, and applying. I always tell my clients, ‘This is your playground to play out all you have learned, get messy, lean into or outside of your edges and challenge each other.’ In this phase, you try different tools and routines and put everything to the test, including yourselves. We don’t just get you out of your comfort zone; you live in that zone of discomfort and growth for the program's tenure. Our programs are not for organizations or individuals looking to tick the boxes of skill-building or fulfill the required hours to gain some generic incentive. Our programs are immersive experiences that genuinely transform and empower you and your teams. We will ask difficult questions, challenge your thinking, and require you to bring your whole self to these sessions. So, if you are ready to explore the possibilities and uplevel yourself and your organizations in the most extraordinary ways, we must have a conversation.

Follow me on LinkedIn for more info!


Anuradha Rathore, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

To solve a business challenge, you must address the human challenge.

More than ever, the world needs confident, compassionate leaders and high-trust, courageous teams that foster creative conflicts and embrace disagreements to navigate complexities and thrive in the face of relentless uncertainty.

Anu Rathore is a Business Performance Coach, consultant, and mentor to leaders and entrepreneurs. She works with organizations and individuals to develop and amplify their latent, ineffable skills and mindset, which are not very well defined but are increasingly important in this ever-transforming ecosystem.

Her clients love that working with her allows them to show up powerfully in the world while staying aligned with their true selves. She focuses on developing leaders as holistic individuals because, contrary to conventional wisdom, you shouldn’t have to choose between success, happiness, and joyous living.


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