Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

The Art Of Working Together – Soft People Skills To Use For Success At Work

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” 

–Helen Keller

So you want to play well with others? Sure, of course, it is essential to be successful in all your human interactions. Today I am writing about the use of soft skills as they apply to work, but they are also relevant in all our relationships.

People skills, what are they? They are the way we interact with each other. Using soft skills when we communicate, help us to be effective.

Effective communication, I feel, is the most critical. All other soft skills are connected and dependent on your ability to communicate.

Being able to communicate effectively is vital. What message are you trying to convey? You want to be able to verbalize in such a way that everyone can understand. Included are both verbal and non-verbal skills.

The words you use, the ebb and flow of your voice and clear pronunciation all contribute to your ability to communicate. Are you talking at a noise level that everyone can hear you? Is the tone of your voice exciting? How you speak can be fascinating, mesmerizing, or just plain dull.

Just as important is your non-verbal communication. You may be saying something, but your body language is sending a different message.

Perhaps you are speaking in a soft tone, and the subject is being considerate of one another. People hear one message, but when they look at your facial expression and they way you are holding your body, they see something different. Are you clenching your fists and have a closed-off expression or angry face? People will notice.

When you speak, either one on one or in front of a group, you want to be relaxed and confident. You want them to be drawn in by what you are saying. Eye contact, facial expression, a relaxed smile, your personality, and the passion you have for what you are saying are all important. These are all soft skills.

Soft skills are necessary to interact effectively with people. In the workplace that includes the employees you work with, your boss, clients & customers, and vendors. It includes person to person, telephone, email, social media, and written communication.

Soft skills include the ability to listen. Included is being able to read the body language of the other person and asking clarifying questions. Being able to make eye contact and perhaps lean in toward the other person indicating your interest is also included.

Soft skills are sometimes intuitive if you are lucky. They are skills that you can assimilate over time. You can sit in a class or meeting and read a manual or book, but you will not be able to apply them the next day.

You have to practice and develop soft skills until they become natural. When that happens, then you will become effective using them.

Self-motivation is a soft skill. If you have a positive attitude and take the initiative without supervision, it shows you are committed to doing well, and you are reliable. Self motivation is a highly valuable soft skill to have.

Being a team player and being able to motivate others in your team is a soft skill. It indicates a clear vision on your part of the importance of working together and being successful.

The ability to problem solve. Not everyone can do this. It is dependent on your attitude. You have to want to solve the problem, and you have to be able to analyze it. It also requires the ability to work with others and be able to communicate your thinking effectively.

Another valuable soft skill is flexibility. It is easy to settle into a comfort zone, and being flexible is important because it shows you are open to new challenges. You are willing to learn new things. It shows a great attitude, and it is valuable to your employer.

Time management is an essential soft skill. The ability to understand your responsibilities each day and put them into a logical order so you can complete them is a skill. Not everyone has that ability. it is a skill that makes you more productive and more valuable as an employee.

Developing soft skills should be a goal for everyone, each individual and each business. If you want to be successful they are essential. Soft skills can improve your ability to negotiate and network, bring your customer service to the highest level, as well as the level of effectiveness of your communication.

Having excellent soft skills is the extra ingredient needed to find, attract, and keep customers. As an employee your soft skills will make you valuable and help you advance. As a company, it will help you become and maintain a respected and successful business.

Harvard Study

As always, thank you for reading my blog. How are your soft skills?

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Statistics Show Women Are Better Leaders-Here’s Why

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”– Nancy Rathburn

Women are awesome. Plain and simple they get the job done. That is why statistics show they are performing better than men.

When women enter the workforce they are equal to their male counterparts. Each performs about the same. For a time men then move ahead and are considered more effective. However, as women mature they move ahead and stay ahead.

functional area competencies chart

This continues until about age 60 and then you see men being viewed as more competent with the result that at the highest levels of an organization there are only 3 – 4% of women.

The strange thing is the statistics show women are more competent. The corporate culture just hasn’t caught up yet.

leadership chart
Bob Sherwin, Contributor Jan. 24, 2014 COO of leadership consultancy Zenger Folkman published in Business Insider

Why are women better? What do they do differently?

  • The standard answer is that women work harder just to be recognized. The better answer would be they work harder longer.
  • Women practice Self Development. The difference between men and women is usually once a certain level of recognition is reached men have the tendency to stop and women keep on working. Women work hard and they work consistently to self develop. They continue to ask for feedback and they also continue to work to improve their skill level.
  • Women take initiative. Using initiative is demonstrating your ability to work proactively. It shows you have the ability to think about different situations and find ways to make them better. Initiative is demonstrated by making suggestions at meetings, starting projects or fixing problems by yourself.
  • They understand the importance of developing others. Perhaps because so many women have to do their own self development they are better at developing others. They understand the importance. They also understand the frustration caused when it is not done effectively. When you develop others, and truly embed that in your culture valuable employees will be much more likely to stay in your organization.
  • Women display integrity and honesty. Females in a management position understand the hard work and effort necessary to move ahead. They have worked very hard to get where they are. As a result they are much more likely to recognize those employees that have the same work ethic. They will recognize and praise their contribution whenever possible.
  • They are driven to get results. Every boss wants to have good results but women will put in the extra time and effort on a continual basis to achieve great results. They are used to going the extra mile to get where they are and they are not going to rest on their laurels.
  • Women are great at developing relationships. Relationship building comes naturally to women. They tend to focus not only on short term relationships but also long term. It makes sense to build not only a good relationship with your team but your business relationships as well. You want a good satisfied team and a good satisfied business connection.
  • They work to inspire and motivate others. Women are good at setting goals and helping others reach those goals. They encourage teamwork and mentoring others. They will invest time in training, for themselves and their team. Women are great mentors. Why? because women have the natural ability to nurture and guide.
  • Women know the importance of collaboration and teamwork. To be successful you have to be able to build a team, a good solid invested team. You cannot do it all. Women know this because they have learned the value of relationships and collaboration in their journey of advancing in the workplace.
  • They are not afraid of change. Women want change. They know how difficult it can be for a women to build a career. When they achieve a management position they are eager to create change in the workplace. They want to change the work culture within their organization to create opportunity for other women to advance.

It has taken a long time, too long, for women to achieve the recognition that they have worked so hard for. It has been difficult and it is not over. Yes, women are advancing up the ladder but those top rungs are still there. Women are so qualified but still not always recognized.

How do you get to the next rung on that ladder? Make the decision. Decide the exact place you want to be and make a plan on how to get there. Then focus, focus, focus. What is the job description and what are the requirements? Break it all down. Do you have the expertise now? If you do great. Now decide how you can surpass those requirements. Work on all the skills you need to get the job and then keep working to improve. Exceed all expectations.

Surround yourself with good people and create a support system by cultivating relationships with people you admire and respect. Be the person that other people want to work for. Always be supportive, always be honest and always follow through.

Take initiative and always look for new ways to do things better. Be credible by having an in depth understanding of every aspect of your job and how you want to change things.

Learn to stand up for yourself. Choose which battles you want to fight. What is important and will it be worth the fight. Be thoughtful in your decisions and make a choice. It can be a delicate dance but you will earn respect by doing so

 “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” -Clare Boothe Luce

As my granddaughter told me when she was a wee little girl, “You can do it, grandma!” Yes, we can ladies. It may be a little harder but it is so worth it. You are going to be Awesome!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a successful day!