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New Studies Show “Soft Skills” Are Now a Critical Priority

...ll groups the top priority for talent development in 2018 was training for soft skills.” Here are a few key points of the report: “…the pace of change is fueling demand for adaptable, critical thinkers, communicators, and leaders. Leadership skills are in high demand… (to) inspire others, not only to do their own tasks but to come along on the ride to success… no company can survive without them. Lack of collaboration can put the brakes on even th...

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Soft Skills Becoming More Important In Highly Technical Environments

...ork, communication, and “people issues.” But, as she rightly pointed out, “soft skills are becoming increasingly important as IT staff steps out of the shadow of a service function and more as a business-transforming unit.” I have worked with a number IT departments and technology companies. Many professionals in that field certainly do need stronger leadership or soft skills. As background to our hour long interview I sent her these links: Septem...

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More Evidence That Soft Skills Produce Hard Results

...areness? As organizations rebound and rebuild for the coming years, these “soft skills” are key to higher performance. A Towers Watson study entitled, Perspectives: Turbocharging Employee Engagement — The Power of Recognition from Managers found, “companies with a highly engaged employee population reported significantly better financial performance (a 5.75% difference in operating margins and a 3.44% difference in net profit margins) than did low...

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Draw from Sales Training to Develop Critical Influencing Skills

...e approaches so useful I became certified to deliver their training program based on its concepts. How often do you catch yourself thinking “I keep trying to tell them, but they won’t listen to me?” There are likely very good reasons they’re not listening. A large sub-set of leadership “soft skills” involves selling our ideas to others. What are you learning from the discipline of sales skills to get more people to listen — and to act? Further Rea...

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Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence

...eman and other leading EI researchers and writers. The resulting article (“Soft Skills for CIOs and Aspiring CIOs: Four Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence”) is excellent. You can read it online at http://www.cio.com/article/121200/Soft_Skills_for_CIOs_and_Aspiring_CIOs_Four_Ways_to_Boost_Your_Emotional_Intelligence/1. I’d love to get your experiences with personally developing your own EI as well as any approaches you’ve found useful to hel...

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6 Key Takeaways from LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report

...ment. These are even more vital in today’s turbulent times: Soft Skills — “Soft skills are the essential interpersonal skills that make or break our ability to get things done. We think of them as foundational and every professional should be working to build them.” The top five soft skills are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. This is a consistent and timeless finding of numerous studies. Executive L...

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Three Keys to Leading a Virtual Team

...ls allow us to leverage strong leadership skills or broadcast our lack of “soft skills.” AchieveGlobal’s study found that problems with virtual teams often come from lack of planning, and communication that isn’t a true two-way conversation. This is all too symptomatic of poorly used technology such as e-mail, that’s often called “communication” but is really a one way information dump. Successful virtual leadership comes from integrating group co...

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Nine Reasons Leaders Aren’t Leading

...e or she needs to be, these reasons often emerge this look in the mirror: “Soft Skills” are Hard – technical and management skills are easier to define, measure, and apply. Comfort Zone – most leaders were promoted for his or her technical and management skills. Many aren’t given a cross-training map on how to leverage his or her leadership strengths. The E-mail Beast – screen sucking drains time from leadership activities. E-mail is a terrible wa...

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Conference Board Webinar: Leadership and Culture Development for Peak Performance

...ective people leadership. Periodic balance checks resets the focus to the “soft skills” that produce hard results. Bolt-on Programs versus Built-in Process To avoid the high failure rate, leadership and culture change efforts must move from partial and piecemeal plans and programs to integration and alignment up, down, and across the organization. This includes reducing priority overload and building stronger discipline with consistent trimming an...

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Book Review: “Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage” by Scott Keller and Colin Price

.... Central to that high failure rate are huge shortfalls in developing the “soft skills” of leadership and culture. This is what the authors mean by going beyond performance (“what an enterprise delivers to its stakeholders in financial and operational terms”) to organizational health (“the ability of an organization to align, execute, and renew itself”.) Beyond Performance is misnamed. The book should really be entitled “Healthy Performance.” Kell...

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Losing Heart…and People: Confusing Efficiency and Effectiveness

...on hard processes, metrics, and systems it became crystal clear that the “soft skills” of leadership and culture weren’t even on their radar. Their plans to reduce their horrendous engagement and retention problem focused on better hiring/orientation practices and HR systems. In the strategy session, the CEO declared that technical and analytical skills were the key to career advancement at their company. He went so far as to state, “you can be a...

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Learning is to Leadership as Seeding is to Reaping

...mber issue of The Leader Letter pulling together all my August blogs. The issue asks and addresses these and many other questions concerning the “soft skills” of leadership and culture. May you read it and reap!...

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Podcast: Leveraging Leadership Time

...through and discipline is vital Investing time and energy in building the “soft skills” — studies show that high-performing organizations invest much more here than most others 3. Strengthen Executive Team Effectiveness Look at the team collectively and individually to leverage strengths and counterbalance weakness Individual development and growth Improve executive team performance through: 360 tools using a strengths-based approach to help every...

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Customer-Focused IT

...ading EI researchers and writers. She wrote an excellent article entitled “Soft Skills for CIOs and Aspiring CIOs: Four Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence” To read my comments and link to Diann’s article see “Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence.” In August, InterGovWorld.com ran Diann’s article. They also included a Related Content section with links to a few past articles. If you’re interested in helping IT professionals – or your entire...

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Dehumanizing with AI, Automation, and Technical Optimization

...s of evidence that treating people like humans, not technology — so-called soft skills — builds a much healthier, safer, engaged, service-oriented, higher quality, and profitable culture. BUT…many of today’s fastest growing tech firms have regressed to using artificial intelligence, algorithms, and machine-learning optimization to throw us back to those dehumanizing times. Last year, I facilitated a planning retreat with a back-to-the-future techn...

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Improving IT’s Internal Service Levels

...eman and other leading EI researchers and writers. The resulting article (“Soft Skills for CIOs and Aspiring CIOs: Four Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence”) is excellent. You can read it online here. Click on “From Casual to Moderate to Intense Levels of Service” to read the full blog post that triggered Kevin’s response. To peruse a large selection of my articles and excerpts on various aspects and applications of Emotional Intelligence mi...

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Interview Questions That Made Me Go Hmmmm….

...you think you bring to the industry? Blending the catalytic power of the “soft skills” of leadership with management processes and systems that build stronger people and stronger organizations. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why? Mrs. Westman, my grade six teacher, was highly encouraging and nurturing. One day, after handing in a short written story or assignment, she said “I won’t be surprised to see your name on a book someday.” W...

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Key Leadership Lessons From Our Most Popular Workshop

...agement, and leadership and assess our “as is” compared to our “should be” Soft Skills, Hard Results – emotional intelligence, engagement, perceptions, and energy are powerful catalysts propelling teams and organizations to peak performance Assessing and Strengthening Timeless Leadership Principles: Energizing through vision, values, and mission Increasing influence outward and upward Fostering greater openness and transparency Boosting staff enga...

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Archived Webinar on Our Leadership and Culture Development Approaches Now Available

...tion, I emphasized that what’s often not understood nearly well enough in “soft skills” work like leadership and culture development is the big impact and balancing of “hard management” systems and processes. For example, the well known and researched 85/15 Rule (not to be confused with the 80/20 Pareto Principle) from decades of Quality/Lean/Six Sigma work has shown that 85 – 95 percent of errors, rework, and service breakdowns are caused by the...

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The Dutch Polder Model: Focusing on Our Common Goals

...alance requiring high levels of Emotional Intelligence and the leadership “soft skills” of influence, cooperation, and teamwork. This session was a first announcement of the change to the top 130 senior executives. The organization is in the beginning stages of clarifying its evolving roles and responsibilities and filling in the boxes on its emerging new organization chart. Anxiety, uncertainty, and stress levels are high as some people are losin...

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