Let's stop calling them 'soft skills' - Deepstash

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Making a business thrive

Making a business thrive

Specific vocational skills are essential - coders should be able to code, salespeople should be able to sell. But, we also need soft skills. By only focusing on the seemingly essential skills, we've reduced the value of the skills that actually matter. 
What separates thriving organizations from struggling ones is the "soft" skills. These skills are not negotiable.

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Ignoring soft skills

Organizations know how to measure vocational skills. They know how to measure typing skills for example. However, they are less able to measure passion or commitment.

Organizations hire and fire based on vocational skill output. But, getting rid of a negative thinker or a bully is much more difficult. An employee that demoralizes an entire team is hampering productivity.

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Soft skills 

Soft skills 

If you've got the vocational skills, you're of little help without the human skills. The soft skills, or rather real skills, can't replace vocational skills, but amplify the things you've already been measuring.

For instance, a team member with all the traditional vocational skills is the baseline. Add to that perceptive, charismatic, driven, focused, goal-setting, inspiring, motivated, deep listener, and you have a team member that will benefit the organization in exponential ways.

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Being people-focused

Being people-focused

69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees.

How does one build organizations that are people-focused, while acknowledging that nearly 70% of managers find communication with their employees uncomfortable?

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Categories of Real Skills

  • Self Control: Persisting in doing things for the long run that you might not feel like doing in the short term.
  • Productivity: The ability to use insights, and the commitment to move things forward. 
  • Wisdom: Learning things that are difficult to glean from a manual.
  • Perception: Having the experience and the practice to see the world clearly.
  • Influence: Develop the skills you need to persuade others to take action.

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Self-control skills

  • Adaptability to changing requirements
  • Authenticity and consistent behavior
  • Bouncing back from failure
  • Coach-ability
  • Collaborative mindset
  • Compassion for those in need
  • Competitiveness
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Motivation to take on new challenges
  • Risk-taking
  • Stress management

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Productivity

  • Crisis management skills
  • Decision making with effectiveness
  • Delegation for productivity
  • Diligence and attention to detail
  • Facilitation of discussion
  • Goal-setting skills
  • Innovative problem-solving techniques
  • Lateral thinking
  • Meeting hygiene
  • Planning for projects.

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Wisdom

  • Artistic sense and good taste
  • Conflict resolution instincts
  • Creativity in the face of challenges
  • Critical thinking instead of mere compliance
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Diplomacy in difficult situations
  • Empathy for customers, co-workers and vendors
  • Intercultural competence
  • Mentoring
  • Social skills
  • Supervising with confidence

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Perception

  • Design thinking
  • Fashion instinct
  • Map making
  • Judging people and situations
  • Strategic thinking

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Influence

  • Ability to deliver clear and useful criticism
  • Assertiveness on behalf of ideas that matter
  • Body language (reading and delivering)
  • Dispute resolution skills
  • Inspiring to others
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation and sales skills
  • Networking and presentation skills
  • Reframing
  • Talent management and team building.

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