Perception is Reality. Soft skills take the lead. Don’t fail.
Reputation. Personal Brand. Who you are. I hate when people miss opportunity. Especially when they mean well, have the technical skills and want to move forward. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to only do your job well anymore. You need both technical skill and the soft skills. Study after study is saying the same thing. You cannot be successful without emotional intelligence and the skills that fall underneath that umbrella.
- Do you have an employee who doesn’t get along with the group?
- Do you have divisions, or teams, who don’t trust one another?
- Are there employees that refuse to be cordial with one another regardless of the amount of times you have talked with both? Does one try harder than the other?
- Do you have employees who simply feel they should be given a raise/promotion/opportunity simply because they show up to work every day?
- Do you have employees that members of your board don’t like?
- Do you have young or seasoned professionals who haven’t had any training in this area?
- Do you worry about how your employees represent your company/association/corporation?
- Do you have members of your team that make you lose sleep? Toxic employees?
Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center has concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).
Some of the topics below may be common sense to you. Great! Here is my challenge…Do you really know what they are? Do you practice them? Do you practice them daily? Do you encourage those around you? Do you set the standard? Or do you practice them every occasionally?
A few examples of ‘soft skills.’ The list could go on and on as could this blog. Most important one is emotional intelligence…From there everything else grows.
- Personal accountability: “Personal accountability is the belief that you are fully responsible for your own actions and consequences. It’s a choice, a mindset and an expression of integrity.” – Quote from this column. It’s a worthy read.
- Teamwork: As Andrew Carnegie once noted, teamwork "is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." Personality clashes, overbearing team leaders, employees who refuse to listen – disaster around the bend.
- Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills build respect and build a brand that tells the world there isn’t any situation you can’t handle and handle well. The ability to negotiate brings people to you versus running from you. Remember, negotiation should be a win-win.
- Conflict resolution: Don’t fear conflict; embrace it. I see high-level employees and leaders self-destruct because they refuse to have any conflict with anyone. What happens? Conflict doesn’t just resolve – typically it escalates. If you don’t have this skill, you will never be a leader and people will refer to you as the one who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty. We have clients that we are told don’t have this skill and it is the ONLY thing holding them back from a promotion that they deserve based upon their work. Don’t let that be you! Don’t have the skills? Good news – you can learn.
- Flexibility: While I was meeting with a corporate client, I had an employee tell me that they were not going to talk about anything unless it was on an agenda. I have heard this many times before. We must learn to play well with each other. This type of employee is only concerned with how they learn or how they want meetings to be run. They are not aware that there are other employees in the room who really need some wiggle room in an agenda for some creativity. One person cannot run a meeting simply because they ‘feel’ like it. Nobody is more important and mutual respect is so important. We must bend for one another and talk through these moments versus walking away from meetings and complaining about them behind closed doors.
- Communication skills: This is one that could quite literally be thousands of pages long. So many things fall under this heading. If you haven’t taken a course, read a book, continued to hone your communication skills, you will fail. It’s a disaster that is probably in the making and you don’t even realize it. Empathy, respect, listening skills, non-verbal communication, confidence and more.
- Creativity and problem-solving skills: This is all about confidence at its core. If you are having a hard time with confidence, your why, your purpose and where you are going; this is a tough skill to master. You can’t be afraid of failure if you want to be the best problem solver there is.
- Ability to work under pressure (And time management): Those who break down or have a victim mentality under pressure will fail. This one hurts me personally when I see talented people who simply can’t be flexible, put out fires when necessary and understand that deadlines are friends, not enemies.
- People who are self-motivated get on by themselves: HUGE. This is HUGE. Are you self-motivated. Keep reading? Keep learning? Someone gives you a task that relates to your position and you are confused? What should you do? Wait for it…GO FIND OUT. Do the research and come back with questions. Self-motivated people are happier, people want to be around them, they inspire, and they get the job done because they won’t stop pushing until they know what is going on. Should your supervisor, boss, consultant teach you? Yes. Should they have to hold your hand because you refuse to be self-motivated? No. If that is your mentality, you are failing.
MODA Image and Brand Consulting is the only company in the United States that is able to integrate corporate brand, personal brand, leadership, marketing, sales, image, internal and external communication, non-verbal communication, emotional intelligence, brand storytelling, the ‘why’ exercises, professional etiquette, executive presence and fashion into training seminars and 1:1 coaching that benefit both the company and its employees.
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