Every day we hear complaints about retention, collaboration, work ethic, etc.
I was chatting with an investment banker the other day, and he mentioned that when he was trained, ALL of his training was in the skill sets he needed to do his job – except one area he called “the soft skills.”
There are no “soft skills.” Leadership is hard. It must be creative from time to time. The bottom line is created by people who understand that to harness the absolute ” best” of others, it takes more than the job skills they were hired for- there must be caring present.
This man runs large, global teams. He told me that it took him years to learn how to engage his teams or individual members in ways that energize, appreciate, ignite or connect them. He spoke a little wistfully about this need to learn and that it is still missing in the people who do the hiring or the training offered.
The prevailing opinion that personal skills are “soft” may be the problem. In this sense, it conveys the meaning of weakness, the very thing that most corporate executives dread.
It’s time to rethink our definition of what we call “soft”. In this case, it means the ability to create a depth of connection. The people who are high D’s and high C’s may have a tough time understanding the importance of this, but they must realize that it isn’t rocket science to realize that other people have different needs and strengths. They bring these to work every day, and it is up to leadership to learn how to assist in weaving all of it together to make a magnificent product.