Soft Skills are Hard
Soft skills are hard for the corporate world – really they are hard for most people. Why? Because the soft skills are less tangible regarding results. This factor allows for some managers and executives to devalue the worth of the soft skills.
Often we are told by managers in corporate environments that they do not want anything that is soft. They want hard, tangible skills for their people. Again, Why? Because they feel (actually they think rather than feel) that the so called “hard skill” training and development will ensure success and results.
How incorrect is this? Big time! Soft skills rule in the success and high performance avenues. The research that has been conducted on high performers – shows that the hard skills knowledge has no bearing on the results – yet, there is a direct relationship to the soft skills.
Let me use a sports analogy to show the difference. As some of you know I am a dedicated fan of college football. Therefore, I watch a large number of teams each weekend during the season. Three factors show up – 1. The best programs are at the top of the rankings every year. 2. Any team can win on any given weekend – no matter who is the competitor. and 3. The best coaches appear to really work the mental side of winning games – the soft skills side of the equation.
Now looking at the three factors a little closer, the winning programs do appear to get the best available talent every year. Yet, no one seems to dominate their league anymore. This is due to the limits placed upon all teams regarding number of players they can have on the team. Therefore some good players go to competitors.
The second factor shows that this balancing effect of player limits has improved the talent levels of every team. This shows up on game days where the favorites are defeated. How often has a team from the top five been defeated this year? No team is guaranteed a victory for just showing up. This is hard for a large number of fans to accept, yet it is a reality.
The third factor – the one dealing with the soft skills or mental edge – appears to be the difference maker. The top coaches are masters of using psychology to get their players ready for every game – not just the big ones. The best motivators get their players to win the games they are supposed to win and play the entire game against good competition. This is the source of the winning edge – the ability to deal with adversity and not panic, the ability to expect to win, to visualize the final score, to have the faith in your teammates that everyone will do their part to seal the victory. This is the world of soft skills.
Organizations should understand this important factor and get their staffs on the winning side of the mental game. Hard skills are important – yet, the soft skills ensure the proper use of the hard skills to win. If you believe that there is a need for more soft skill training in your organization – call us at 901-757-4434. We offer several processes for establishing the winning attitudes for your team. We also have assessments that can check the soft skill potential of the players.
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Voss Graham is an Organizational Architect with 30+ years of experience designing sustainable business growth for organizations of all sizes.
Creating the Strategic Focus with the Executive Leadership Teams, he uses Systems & Process to ensure the Drivers for Business Growth are Executed at the Highest Levels. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings – contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.