Caring Professional Versus Knowing Professional

This is a message for all of my colleagues out there who work in the area of professional development and training, consultancy, coaching and mentoring.

As professionals and business owners our professional or industry knowledge is important. People expect us to know what we are talking about. They expect that we are someone they can trust to provide us with a service or product they want and to have all the required knowledge about it.

Have you noticed, however, that it’s not always the cleverest, the ones who’ve done the most training or got the most qualifications who are most successful?

Once we became the preferred service provider solely on the basis of our industry experience or the fact that we were highly qualified. If you’d been in business for a long time or if you had multiple university degrees, you had to be the go to person. That’s no longer the case.

People now want, as well, or even more so, someone they can trust.

They want someone who will listen to them and try and understand their needs and wants.

They want someone who understands the outcome they are trying to achieve with a product or service.

They want someone who genuinely cares about them and getting the best result for them.

They want someone who provides service second to none.

They want someone with good Soft Skills – good interpersonal, communication and people skills.

They Will Then Do Business With Us.

There’s a frequently quoted comment from Maya Angelou that is related to what we are talking about here.

People will forget what you said,

people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget

how you made them feel.

So ask yourself: what do I need to do, so that every client or customer I meet, feels that I really care about them? What do I need to change in myself so that they know that I am deeply committed to helping them achieve what is most important for them?

When we focus on our clients and customers in this way, they grow to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST us and then they will work with us and engage our services, buy our products.

So the message is, your Soft Skills are as important as your hard technical skills in serving our clients and customers.

PS: And this is equally applicable to all you leaders and managers out there. If you want to get the best from your people, show them how much you care.

Dr Maree Harris, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of People Empowered, a leadership development company. She works with highly motivated leaders and managers developing and enhancing the self-leadership skills, the soft skills needed for leadership in these unpredictable and changing times. She is the author of Soft Skills – The Hard Stuff of Success. Visit her website to access free resources for leaders and aspiring.

Do You Will To Have A Painful Destiny?

Isabel Archer is the towering figure of the Portrait of a Lady. Henry James is the author of the novel. He has very beautifully portrayed the curving journey of a young woman’s wish to live free. She thinks that she is powerful to cut the chains of paternity. Set in the 1870’s it tells us how Isabel has a dreamlike quality of being mysteriously attractive and undoubtedly intelligent. Since the beginning, we see her in a meditative mood as if she is reflecting over something serious and that was the marriage proposal with Lord Warburton. If you have seen the movie, Nicole Kidman enacts the role and it makes us easier for us to understand. There are tears in her eyes but she does not let them fall. It is symbolic. Another charming young man Casper Goodwood who is a bit fiercer in the aspect of persuasion is proposing her. Isabel rejects both of them. This woman has large ideas about her life, and she wants to make them without men’s aid. Going ahead through the novel, we find that she has charmed her cousin Ralph Touchett as well. He is a sick man and is hopelessly in love with her but meets a negative fate. Isabel does not do this on purpose but the playwright has tried to show the feminine perspective through the hands of men. Isabel believes in love, but she also believes in struggles and painful life. When approached by Lord Warburton, she politely declines his proposal by saying that she likes him but cannot marry. He is eager to know the reason but she remains silent.

Isabel is the live example of what a woman hopes and desires to live a liberal life. Going out in the world and exploring people is her core wish. She wants to take risks and win over dangerous situations. Over here, Archer believes that her life is going to be painful and miserable. This does not mean that she is thinking of committing suicide. This is the harsh fact of life but everyone chooses to ignore it. The wise readers will react to Isabel as being immature and a naysayer, but I believe it is her choice to live this way. She does not believe in hearts and flowers but pain and endurance. Some readers have vehemently declined her thoughts by saying she has a weird perspective of being miserable. I say if your life imparts you pain it also renders a shelter a shoulder to burden all your tears. Isabel is wandering to find that shoulder. She does not want to compromise on her fate. Our female protagonist sincerely believes that she will be unhappy and her destiny will let her have the novel experiences. Marital chains will only stop her from having her slice of life and she strongly opposes this fact. Her dearest friend Henrietta Stackpole meets her in London and is very surprised by her deviant attitude. She was even more shocked to realise that Archer rejected Warburton. Henrietta is a reporter by profession and is a symbol of feminism in those days. Henrietta misjudges the noble people’s sentiments and calls Casper Goodwood “I have never seen an ugly man look so handsome”, when he talked about his wish of marrying Isabel. Ralph on the other hand mixes with Henrietta and demands to know why Isabel refused Warburton. He practically blackmailed her to know but she gives a rational answer. He knows Isabel very well and wants to save her from her fate but cannot do anything as he is about to die. The playwright has made him a spectator as he looks on to Isabel’s life.

How A Life Mentor Can Change Your Life

You would always want to have a special person in your life who carves it so efficiently that you gradually realize the importance and beauty of having a life mentor in your life. A life mentor changes your life for good and gives you all the right principles to mend your lives and help you in achieving the best of your abilities.

These mentors have certain responsibilities that they need to fulfill and certain expectations they need to meet and when they do that to perfection, they grow up to be a role model for the respective person because of all the guidance and knowledge that have been imparted.

Here are a few benefits of having a life mentor like that:


It is very usual and common to feel dejected and low after a failure or defeat, it is during this time that a life mentor provides you with the much needed support that will make you jump back in your feet right away. This life mentor will console you and guide you and make you see the brighter side. They will patiently listen to you and remind you of the times when you were successful which will also remind you of the potential you have, this kind of motivation is very much required to get back on the saddle.


There will be times when you yourself will not believe in your capabilities and strength and potential, it is during this time that your life mentor will never give up on you and believe in you much more than you can ever believe in yourself. Your life mentor knows you the best and knows exactly what is possible for you and thus never gives up on you so easily, they are always there for you no matter what and that is how a life mentor should be.


You can be totally confident of receiving the correct and honest feedback on your work from your work mentors. They want the best for you and hence they will never lie about how good or bad your work is so that there is enough scope for improvement. Your life mentor will do the job of showing you the correct path and discover your own self very effectively because of this honesty.


It is very much necessary to have some motivation and inspiration in your life to do certain kind of things in your life. This push of motivation and inspiration keeps you going and this is what these mentors are meant to do. Give you this motivation to move ahead and the inspiration to work harder. They will always be there to push you a bit forward every time you face some difficulty or negativity.