I had a great feedback meeting this week with one of my clients and his family.  I love the feedback meeting where I get to share the results of all the assessments my clients take and help them come up with a game plan for moving forward.

This meeting was especially fun because the young man’s parents were so positive and engaged in the process.  I wish I could have taped his dad when he discussed at one point how the relationships you build and the professionalism you exhibit in your day-to-day work and life are the keys to success.  He was so on target!

There is a great study by Marcel M. Robles, Eastern Kentucky University, which was featured in the December 2012 issue of Business Communication Quarterly.  It identified the top 10 soft skills as perceived the most important by business executives:

  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Courtesy
  • Responsibility
  • Social Skills
  • Positive Attitude
  • Professionalism
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Work Ethic

“Hard skills” – technical skills, degree requirements, and specific experience requirements – will get you the interview, but it is your “soft skills” – your emotional intelligence, how you manage your emotions and interact with others, your people skills – that will get you the job and will make the critical difference in whether you are successful or not.

An article on Salary.com titled 7 Signs You Have Terrible People Skills: “Soft” Skills & Emotional Intelligence Will Help Get You Hired & Promoted by Dawn Dugan caught my attention this week.  She shares these:

Seven warning signs that indicate you might want to focus more on developing your soft skills:

  • Emotion Overload – How do you do with managing your emotions?  Do you lose your temper or get frustrated easily with others?
  • Lack of Self-Confidence – Do you lack self-confidence?  Taking self-confidence to the extreme of arrogance is a big issue in itself, but if you lack confidence in yourself and your abilities, it is hard for others to have confidence in you.
  • Poor Communication Skills – Are you an active listener?  Do you take the time to really listen to others?  Are you able to communicate to others clearly and in a way that others understand?
  • You’re a Quitter – Do you give up when the going gets tough?  Or do you demonstrate resilience, commitment, and persistence?
  • Can’t Deal with Office Politics/Politicians – Are you able to stay out of the office drama? Do you struggle with getting along with certain people or personalities?  As Cy Wakeman shares, your true value at work is an equation of your performance plus your potential, minus your emotional expensiveness.  How much drama do you cause or participate in?
  • Inability to Coach, Mentor, and Guide – Do you take the time to invest in others?  Do you consider the good of the team and of the organization?  Or do you have a me-first, self-focused attitude?
  • Lack of Networking/Self-Promotion Skills – How adept are you at networking?  Have you developed the skill of sharing your accomplishments and work results in a professional, subtle way?

Take some time this week to reflect on how well you are doing in the ten soft skills identified above and whether you exhibit any of the seven warning signs, then make a plan to develop your skills in the needed areas.  For example, if you can trace your lack of self-confidence to a lack of knowledge or training in a specific area, then make plans to address the issue – take a class or get more training.  I’m here to help!

To your success-



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