Soft Skills Employers Need – 3 Solid Steps
by Kate Nasser |
A recent post at http://resumebear.com emphasizes once again that people-skills (also known as soft skills) top employers’ lists of desired qualities. [http://resumebear.com/blog/index.php/2009/12/06/five-character-qualities/]
People-skills or soft skills also top the list of top skills that employers want and new graduates (GEN Y) lack. [http://www.resumebear.com/blog/index.php/2009/05/21/top-skills-employers-want-and-new-graduates-lack/]
As a 20 year veteran entrepreneur, I can also attest that outstanding people-skills or soft skills top the list for business success. So whether you are a new graduate (GEN Y) or among the many people changing careers or industries, improving your people-skills (soft skills) is a winning step. What skills specifically? Verbal and written communication, listening, and teamwork.
I will be posting a series of content rich articles with tangible soft skills improvement steps.
In this post, 3 solid steps that improve communication with customers, teammates, suppliers, and definitely with leaders.
Speak current and future not past. Our communication is often riddled with references to the past. Don’t believe me? Spend five to ten minutes being aware of what you say. You will be very surprised at how often you reference the past.
Now rethink what you truly want to say and reword it to be focused on the present or future. Focusing on the present and future minimizes the risk of digging up old problems between people, gets you active on solutions, and increases your value to employers and customers. It changes your image, your relationships, and your career/business success. Simply put: In business, don’t take people back to the past.
True story to illustrate: I found a blog article on soft skills and posted it on Twitter. I liked the main points the author made. One of my Twitter followers read it and thought the author’s writing skills were poor. She sent me the following message. “Did you read it before you posted it?” Her focus on the past made this a very poor communication. It can cause problems in interpersonal relationships. After I wrote back to her, she made it clear that her main point was “I don’t like the author’s writing style”. Her original message communicated something else.
Speak honestly and positively. Honesty is important in business. How you deliver the honesty determines how the listener will hear and react to your message. Even during conflict, you can speak with positive tones to speed the healing after the conflict.
Simple Rules: State facts as facts and opinion as opinion. State what needs to change and what is currently good.
Skip the sarcasm. Sarcasm can often be misunderstood. It is more a form of anger than a form of humor. Keep it for moments with a close friend who loves your sarcasm or leave it to the stand-up comedians and bloggers whose brand is sarcasm. Customers, teammates, leaders and even suppliers respond much better to positive action oriented messages.
I hope you will share these tips with others. I ask only that you credit this site http://katenasser.com.customers.tigertech.net.
Check back frequently for more soft skills tips that strengthen your career and your business success. I welcome your tips, comments, and questions below.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach