Monday, May 6, 2013

What about those soft skills?

You learn a lot by observing people. I know because I've been fascinated with watching people since childhood. There is something about the way individuals engage and interact that piques my curiosity.

Through the years, I've had the opportunity to strengthen my interpersonal skills by observing others. In fact, it has made me a better friend and even colleague. I have fared well in my private and professional lives by mastering the art of reading body movements, facial cues and the like, which is why I've decided to discuss interpersonal skills during the next economic empowerment course.

With all the focus on hard skills in the workforce, it's safe to say there's a reason why so many workers are unhappy. Sure, some companies have invested in leadership programs that focus on honing interpersonal skills, but how many businesses can actually afford to pay for them?

The business world is still at a place where getting the job done trumps engagement. But regardless of how efficient one is, you really can't go too far if your peers are not fond of you.

Hillary Clinton learned this the hard way during her years in the White House. She was proudly opinionated, and she was going to share her views regardless of what anyone thought. She soon learned that to follow her goals in politics, she would need to try a new tact.

Not that there's anything wrong with sharif your opinions, but forcing them on others is self-defeating. And as Hillary Clinton discovered, it's the difference between accomplishing your goals with resistance or making a smooth transition to the top.

So what will I cover during the course? They will be categorized under three main topics:

1. It takes two to tango. Understand how you are playing a role in any conflicts.

2. Accept differences: of ideas, cultures, habits and work processes

3. Focus on what you can control. Even when things don't go your way, don't despair. Forget your weaknesses, and improve your strengths. And everything should fall into place.

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