The Federal Coach: Learning to ‘check your ego and really listen’

In today’s column, Tom speaks with Ambassador Janice L. Jacobs, the Department of State’s assistant secretary for consular affairs.

What do you believe are the most critical elements to success?

Personal success, especially in jobs when you’re dealing with people, requires a lot of self-awareness, discipline, strong interpersonal skills, a good degree of resiliency, integrity and then always a positive outlook. It’s a real skill, because you have to be empathetic, but at the same time put your own emotions aside. Check your ego and really listen to people and then use [your] training and talent to make good decisions. Some of these are innate talents, but others you learn on the job and with training.

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