Different research studies have shown that, the best performing corporates, individuals and groups are the ones who have been able to combine hard and soft skills effectively.
It is key that as individuals who want to grow our careers, entrepreneurs who want to grow ourselves, and our businesses and organizational leaders that want to make an impact and leave a legacy of greatness; we must start investing in and developing our “soft skills”.
Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center has concluded that 85percent of job success comes from having well-developed soft and people skills, and only 15percent of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).
This research finds its beginning with the work of Charles Riborg Mann from a Study of Engineering Education in 1918.
Our daily life activities involve a blend of processes, products and possibilities to create the perfect aroma, taste, look or effect. But in critical spaces such as our organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, career and leadership journeys, we sometimes overlook the essentials needed to blend with the key technical capacities and capabilities available to us to create the best impact.
The technical knowledge and skills of our Human Assets matter, but we need their attributes and attitudes also known as “Soft Skills ” to create the holistic, best versions of us and therefore our organizations, entities or personal brands.
These will reflect in some of the following scenarios:
- An exceptional finance person who can’t connect effectively when it comes to personal impact.
- A brilliant marketing person who cannot appear, behave or communicate as the brand.
- A highly competent leader who can’t engage and inspire by their presence.
There are many gaps when it comes to body intelligence, emotional intelligence, and moral intelligence. This can be a silent but open wound within the cultural space we find ourselves and whilst it may not always be obvious, it can be detrimental to our growth strategy.
Soft skills, often known as people skills are skills that require constant and conscious nurturing to enable one interact with people. A few examples are team management, the art of persuasion and negotiation, building morale and team work, just to mention a few. Bruce Tulgan was not mistaken in his article, ‘Defining the Power of Soft Skills’ when he said, “Soft skills are the source of a huge amount of power that is always right there hiding in plain sight—a tremendous reservoir of often untapped value—a secret weapon for any smart organization, team, leader, or individual performer.”
Many executives have emerged as success stories of the power of soft skills because they served as examples. One of the key attributes of soft skills sited by many researchers, as a need in every worker is Professionalism.
Professionalism is one of the key basics for any leader and employee in this modern cooperate world. The ability to recognize, understand and manage one’s own emotions and to understand and influence that of others is the popular term, emotional Intelligence, which was created by two researchers: Peter Salavoy and John Mayer.
What stands out in one’s ability to be professional is the skill to self-evaluate; regularly assessing one’s own thoughts, words, and actions against clear meaningful standards and one’s own performance against specific goals, timelines, guidelines and parameters.
Another soft skill pertinent to the birth and growth of any individual in the working class is the art of listening. An article by Katherine Noel of the Business Insider explained that the best communicators are not those skilled only in articulating their thoughts but those who are also great listeners.
Successful leaders should make time to listen to the ideas and thoughts of others. Listening involves giving the speaker undivided attention, taking notes of important points and being welcoming to their ideas.
As an executive, decision-making is a necessity you must have. People respond to change in many different ways. In professional settings, employees will often look to their leaders during times of change for reassurance, guidance, and a sense of stability. No matter the choice you make, there is a consequence to it.
However, it is vital to have the eye to identify and consider multiple options, assess the pros and cons of each and choose the course of action closest to the desired outcome. “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change – Charles Darwin”.
Today, as companies increasingly need to become more dynamic, interconnected and flexible, soft skills are critical. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, executives now consider these skills important to fostering employee retention, improving leadership, and building a meaningful culture.
In fact, 92percent of Deloitte’s respondents rated soft skills as a critical priority. They noted that an HR leader’s mission has shifted from that of “chief talent executive” to “chief employee experience officer.”
- When it comes to Image; we require Appearance Behavior and Communication.
- When it comes to Life Leadership; we require Clarity, Confidence and Communication.
- When it comes to High Performance; we require Energy, Courage, Influence and Productivity.
Each level, role and path requires an aligned skill. It’s time we take action to blend our technical skills with our soft skills to create the perfect blend for Power and Influence!
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
The writer is a Certified High Performance Coach, Global Speaker, Media Personality and award-winning Entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; the mother company that holds Dzigbordi Inc. & Allure Spa in The City. These brands provide services in Personal Impact & Development, Corporate Consulting, Wellness & Grooming.
Her coaching, seminars and training has helped many organizations and individuals to transform their image and impact, elevate their engagement and establish networks leading to improved and inspired teams, growth and productivity.
Her area of focus is Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power (H.E.L.P). She can be reached on [email protected]