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Soft Skills…..what are they and why do we need them?

In today’s competitive world your business needs a cutting edge….something to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Marketing tools are an excellent place to start, however, what seems to be happening in that realm is that every time someone initiates a new, unique idea or angle, everyone else jumps on the band wagon and copies it….leveling the playing field once more.

So what else can we do?
Here is another option to consider….our people skills, the soft side of business, the relationship building through effective communication, so key to our profitability.
If we improve our soft skills we will certainly reap the benefits!

Here are some tips:
1. Build a strong, productive, focussed team who respect, trust and support one another in their efforts toward achieving common goals.
2. Develop effective leadership practices and invite feedback so that you can continue to improve your skills and thereby enhance your team’s productivity.
3. Build a broad network of colleagues, friends, acquaintances and of course customers, who will trust you and what your business offers so will spread the word and be loyal.
4. Establish organized systems, structures, and policies so that your company will be consistent in all that it does and will have a process for orientating new hires as well as parameters for keeping current employees on the same page.

How are you going to achieve those endeavours?
Firstly you must develop effective communication skills…..the cornerstone of which is ACTIVE LISTENING.
Most of us think that we are good communicators because we have been communicating since we were born. However, in truth, most of us are not very successful at articulating and sending messages that are received as intended. That is because communication is not linear, it is extremely complex and has many potential interferences along the pathways between the speaker and the listener. When we understand more about those various obstacles we will have a much better chance of having the intended message being received by the listener.

Remember…..Hearing and Listening are NOT the same….and Assuming, gets into lots of trouble. Therefore the more we actively listen, the more we learn and the more effectively we practice this most important skill the more positive outcomes we will enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Soft Skills…..what are they and why do we need them?

  1. “Hearing and Listening are NOT the same.” Well put and so true. Too often this point is not understood and we’re left confused as to what went wrong, in any relationship.

    • Hi Peter,
      You are absolutely correct and that is why feedback is so essential to be certain that in fact, the message we sent was the one received. We tend to do an awful lot of “assuming” that once we told someone something, that they “heard” it……not necessarily!!
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      Regards,
      Sandy

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