Moneymanagement’s Weblog

Soft Skills Needed

Posted in MBA by moneymanagement on December 17, 2007

“Soft-skills” refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee and a compatible co-worker. Companies value soft skills because research suggests and experience shows that they can be just as important an indicator of job performance as hard skills.

Every entrepreneur thinks that his/her product, services will change the world. They might but the change has to begin closer to home. By focusing on your behavior, knowing doing gap, attitude and soft skills, you begin to inspire others to pay attention too. When your team and key people in the company learn to pay attention to soft skills in addition to hard skills, your chances for success go up exponentially. Soft skills alone won’t make you successful either. They have to be balanced with having the management team with right hard/professional skills, creating a human resource management system that supports your team would multiply your chances of success. When you have all the three factors optimized, the human capital in your company begins to pay rich dividends.

Core Competencies for Success:

While skills are good to develop by themselves, integrating them into a systemic practice makes you develop new competencies for success. Competencies allow you to integrate your skills and knowledge in the context of new projects. These six competencies are useful in all stages of company and in fact, could be very useful in personal life as well. When you start something new, keep these six competencies in mind and consciously apply them in your work and life and soft skills become integrated with your professional skills over time.

  • Be clear and intentional about what you want
  • Be aware of what is going on around you and inside you
  • Have empathy for one another
  • Appreciate what you have and what others bring
  • Know your limits and stretch beyond them
  • Let go of what does not work

Soft Skills contribute to:

  • Leading People
    • Leading a team, leading yourself, conflict management, interviewing and selecting new members, delegation, coaching, networking, developing others
  • Managing Activities
    • Product quality, workplace safety, customer care, fund raising
  • Managing Resources
    • People, finances
  • Managing Information
    • Decision making, problem solving, meeting management, persuasion, presentation skills

Soft Skills helps in:

  • Soft skills help advance your career.
  • Soft skills empower you and create opportunities.
  • Soft skills not only improve your career, they also offer personal growth.
  • Soft skills help you grow beyond money motivation.
  • Developing professional ethics is vital to your career.
  • Control co-worker’s perception of you as a professional and an expert in your field.

How to improve Soft Skills?
It all starts with YOU

  • Acting like a leader
  • Being open to do things differently
  • Avoiding your comfort zone
  • Showing your weaknesses

Understanding your team

  • What are their needs?
  • What are their fears?
  • What’s in it for them?

Justifying project to

  • Team members
  • Customer
  • Sponsor
  • Vendor

Effective communication skills

  • How/When/What to Communicate
  • Non Verbal Queues
  • Multi Cultural Needs
  • Team Management

Understanding what skills you have

  • Identifying skills gaps
  • Stretching existing team members
  • Delegation
  • Bringing the best out of each team member
  • Finding the creativity within your team

Conflict Management and Negotiation Skills

  • Healthy conflicts
  • Sources of conflict
  • Identifying your tendencies
  • Refining your negotiation skills
  • Negotiating with customers, team members
  • Developing WIN-WIN scenarios

Making tough decisions

  • Is it time to make a decision?
  • Tips to making decisions
  • Consensus vs. Unilateral decisions
  • Assessing resource performance challenges
  • Handling resource performance challenges
  • Severing a vendor relationship
  • Escalation approaches
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