Soft skills Vs Technical Skills
It is amazing how many business people have the same initial response to the phrase "Soft Skills Training". Be honest, what was your initial reaction when you saw the newsletter entitled "Soft Skills vs. Technical Skills"? Was it positive or were you sceptical? I believe that we have all been conditioned to think "soft skills" means fluffy nonsense that might be good for us and nice to do but only if time and budget allows or any other excuse can be made to avoid them.
For a legal firm or IT organisation, technical skills are mandatory - be that professional CPD requirements or the need to be up to date with the latest software and enhancements. So why then, when the training is not counted as technical skills, do they become "soft"?
I believe soft skills training should be rebadged as "hard skills" for a number of reasons.
It can be very difficult for companies to measure the immediate success of soft skills training. Many soft skills take a long time to learn or old, bad or indifferent habits take a long time to retrain and break out of. This means that there isn't an immediate response. Take for example first aid training, at the end of it there is a certificate for the attendee and should someone in the office fall ill then there is someone on hand that may well have a massive impact as to whether the person lives or dies; there is also a legal requirement to have the right number of people certified as first aiders. Contrast that with coaching difficult people, customer care or speaking skills - none of which have a legal requirement to be in place, all of which are so important to the survival of a business yet all are stereotyped as "soft" skills and treated as a nice to have.
For accountants to be able to complete their work they need to know where to put the numbers to create the documents that balance the books and pay the right taxes. Without technical accountancy training they cannot do their job. That is just one aspect of their job but they still need to know how to communicate, how to manage, how to overcome adversity or simply put, how to become better business people.
"Soft skills" are not soft, they are hard, very hard in places and can take a lot of financial and time investment to have maximum impact. Without the "soft skills" a business will never stand out in the crowded marketplace, they may be technically excellent car valeters or carpenters but do they possess all the necessary skills to be the best business they can be?
The reason why you had that gut feel at the beginning of this newsletter when you read the title was because many people use the phrase "soft skills" in a dismissive way, often to hide the areas of our lives that we really need to work on but try to avoid doing. By giving it the less than important title of "soft", we can permit ourselves to pay less attention to it and what it means and therefore avoid it more easily. Rebadging these training skills as "HARD" skills makes them stand out and be seen - not so easy to avoid!
Mike Pagan - About Author:
Mike Pagan is a highly sought after professional motivational speaker, conference speaker, and business coach. He has half a lifetimes experience in the corporate world with HSBC Group and Forte Group with Granada Group.
"My passion is productivity, one of my greatest frustrations in life is seeing talent and opportunities go to waste because of faffing about."
Mike Pagan Motivational Speaker
Stop Faffing About
Published by Adli Law on April 5th 2012 | Business
Published by Alice Mathew on July 31st 2012 | Business
Published by Genevieve Ackles on February 15th 2012 | Business
Published by Matthew Thomas on February 22nd 2012 | Business
Published by Meghnath Kumar on July 2nd 2012 | Business
Published by Herry Smith on February 29th 2012 | Business
Published by Ashish Pandey on December 28th 2011 | Business
Published by Crowin Smith on February 13th 2012 | Business
Published by Ashish Pandey on January 2nd 2012 | Business
Published by Marcus Tarrant on July 11th 2012 | Business
Published by Nidhigupta on July 18th 2012 | Business
Published by Marketingspace on June 14th 2012 | Business
Published by Bestchoice on November 30th 2011 | Business
Published by Julia Roger on December 6th 2011 | Business
Published by Tom Nagle on December 30th 2011 | Business
Published by Terrypa Sencio on February 5th 2012 | Business
Published by John Kumar on December 17th 2011 | Business
Published by Colbert Raynard on March 20th 2012 | Business
Published by Robert Samuels on January 2nd 2012 | Business
Published by Loo821ql on January 10th 2012 | Business