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    You’re Better Than You Think You Are

    It has been my great privilege lately to interview interesting local folks for the Edmonton Do Gooder Project, and I’ve noticed a bit of a trend. Many of them struggle with this interview question:

    “What makes this issue/area the best fit for you personally?”

    In their answers, I want to hear what appeals to them about their issue, but I also want to know what about them makes them right for the job they’ve taken on.

    So far, people are very comfortable talking about the first part, but when asked to talk about themselves, what they bring to the table, they struggle.

    Often, they leave out things that seem tremendously obvious to me. One person’s success is partly due to her huge social media network. But she didn’t bring it up, and when asked directly, she brushed it off – she really doesn’t think that her online presence is an impressive accomplishment, or that she deserves much credit for having built it. This, I might add, is an online presence most businesses and charities would kill for.

    Another person uses his IT skills as part of his work to create positive change. He can throw together a website in the blink of an eye. A number of the sites he’s built have been enormously influential in advancing his goals, but he has to be prompted to list that as one of the assets he brings to the work.

    The lesson here is that when something comes relatively easy for us, or when we find it fun, we tend to undervalue it. Just because a particular skill isn’t hard for you, doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly valuable.

    So as we approach the work of doing good, it might be a good idea to take a minute and ask ourselves what we bring to the table.

    How about you? What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What do you find people asking you for help with? Something that may not seem like a big deal to you might be just the thing to make a big difference for someone else.