What is Skills Mapping? A Quick Guide

The process of defining skill sets starts out with an assumption — that you want to create the map that allows you to create your future. 

Phase 1: Mapping Your Future

The method of skill mapping is built on the metaphor of the journey. And if fact, individuals can go on many types of journeys such as a  Journey of Discovery, a Divine Journey, or more commonly the Treasure Hunt.

You really cannot follow someone else’s journey, you must create your own map. 

The first phase skill set definition consists of defining these six steps: 

1. Visualize Your Current and Future Roles

2. Continuously Scanning the Environment

3. Determining Threats and Opportunities

4. Assess Your Core Competencies, and

5. Decide on Strengths and Weaknesses

6. Taking Action

Phase 2: Routing

The map has given you the layout and you now know your destination; but there are many paths to get there. Sometimes the path is not clear, sometimes multiple paths  can take you there.

Imagination does not end in mapping, it is also important in routing. For you must know what actions to take at the right time.

“Always, always plan your route.” ― Rick Riordan

U.S. National Park Service: Klondike Route Map. Notice that a destination (Dawson City) can be approached by three different routes. Each route will have certain advantages and disadvantages. And so it is when we push to achieve a goal. Typically, many paths can get you there.

Skill Mapping is the first phase. Now you have a destination.  But it’s now time to plan your route. In this phase, you will develop a set of priorities and come up with a development plan. This is a whole new skill-set many lack.

From a practical standpoint of making a living, you must continuously build application skills. Application skills can be physical or mental, the point is they can be used in the real word. For example, many know geometry and algebra, but few, very few, use it in their jobs.

Phase III: Take Action: Always Grow Skill Sets 

One needs to take action to get from where you are to where you want to be. This is commonly described as execution, or getting tactical.

But there is another aspect of this, one many neglect. You must also important abilities such  leadership skills and know the skill of learning skills.

Yunnan Kim Showing her Gold medal for figure skating. Image by: amex
Image by: jmex. Yu-Na Kim Showing her Gold medal for figure skating. This moment represents thousands of hours of practice over many years. Some skills (really important ones) cannot be build by occupying a seat in a university classroom.

The right mix of skill sets prevents you from getting fired or improves your likelihood of success. An example is communication skills. For example, most people are terrible listeners — they just don’t realize it.

Click to find out more about reflection, self-talk, visualization and meditation.
Click to find out more about reflection, self-talk, visualization and meditation.

Besides a focus on application skills, it’s really important to perfect the skill of building skills. This breaks out into:

Skill-Based Learning. There is a theory to learn on how to learn. And it wouldn’t hurt to understand smart practice.

Mastery Practices. There are five of these: self-talk, visualization, meditation, reflection and mindfulness. For accelerated learning of skills. 

And it’s not just communication skills, leadership skills in general aren’t that good. This despite the fact that the leadership skills in general predict success in organizations.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” — Arthur Ashe

Robert W. Buss (1804-1875): Dickens’ Dream. According to Arthur Ashe, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Great quote, and yet, it’s better to say the outcome is as important as the doing. One cannot exist without the other. If there is no dream, there is no doing.

Leadership Skill Development