Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
An employee visits his manager (who he considers as a mentor) at his place with sadness on his face, starts to share how his life is difficult at the workplace, talks about his stress, talks about all his losses, his anger, his frustration, how he is not able to cope with his failures, very less success, not able to live up to expectations, talks about how he is struggling each day, how he feels hopeless, tired, and how he solves one problem and another one starts, gets screwed up by the boss etc. He finally wants to give up and he feels it’s not worth going through so much without having achieved much.
The manager takes him to the kitchen. In the kitchen, he puts three pots of water on the stove. In the first he puts carrots, second, he puts an egg, and third, he puts coffee beans. He lets them boil while the employee keeps on talking about the issues and struggles over and over again and talks about giving up.
After some time, he stopped boiling water, and puts carrots in one bowl, the egg in another bowl and poured the pot with coffee beans in two cups. The manager asked, “how much coffee?”. The employee replied “half mug”. The manager pours half a mug of coffee for him. The coffee mug, boiled carrot, and boiled egg is kept in front of the employee and asked, “what do you see?”
“Carrots, egg, and coffee“, replied the employee. The manager asked the employee to feel the carrots and asked “what do you feel?”. “They are soft”, said the employee. The manager then asked the employee to crack open the egg and touch it. And asked, “what do you feel?”. “The egg has gone hard from inside”, said the employee. Finally, the manager asked the employee to taste the coffee. The employee got the mug close and had a sip and he had a smile after feeling the rich taste and aroma of the coffee. “Are you going to cook carrots and eggs?”, asked the employee to the manager.
The manager smiled and asked, “do you know what’s common between the carrot, egg, and the coffee bean?”, “They went through the same boiling process,” said the manager. The carrot was strong and firm before boiling, but wilted due to boiling water, became soft and weak. The egg was fragile with a shell covering from outside. The boiling water made the egg hard from inside. The coffee bean was unique. The coffee beans did not change drastically. They transformed the boiling water into a rich taste and aroma.
Which are you? Asked the manager. When you come across problems in life, which one are you? Carrot, egg, or the coffee bean? Are you the carrot that showcases to be strong but with all struggles of life you become weak and soft? Are you an egg that’s soft but with problems around becomes hard and stiff spirited inside but has the same outlook? Or, are you like the coffee bean? Changing the circumstances by facing them when things seem difficult?
Don’t let difficult situations change you for the worst. Face the challenging situation and change them for better life coffee beans. Life skills are the abilities and behaviors that help employees deal effectively with the events and challenges of everyday life. They are the skills that allow an employee to handle everything from interactions with others to identifying and processing emotions.
Life skills vary by culture and by a person’s age. However, there are a certain life skills that almost every employee must have that compliments the hard skills at the workplace and make the work environment more productive. People with strong life skills are considered to have more maturity, professionalism, and more productivity. Life skills are critical to management and leadership positions.