SPECIALIST AREAS

Soft Skills competencies

 

Communication and Sales Skills

As a soft skill, communication is not about multiple syllables or rousing speeches. Able communicators can adjust their tone and style according to their audience, comprehend and act efficiently on instructions, and explain complex issues to colleagues and clients alike. Communication is also an important aspect of leadership, since leaders must be able to delegate clearly and comprehensibly. It is also a key element of sales skills – although not generally associated with it, as it is often conducted so poorly. Sales should be about listening rather than talking at an unsuspecting prospect. And lets face it, there’s not many of those around these days, so traditional sales methods can be demoralising and peppered with high staff turnover and low customer loyalty. Please click here for more on verbal communication skills.

Please click here for stats on soft skills and their predicted impact

Leadership and personal responsibility, Self-Motivation and Time Management

Having the positive attitude and the initiative to work well without round-the-clock supervision is a vital soft skill for any employee. Not only does it demonstrate reliability and commitment, but it shows that you can fit efficiently into an organisational structure without the need for constant oversight.

 

This is another of those soft skills which employers look for in potential leaders. To be an adept negotiator is to know how to be persuasive and exert influence, while sensitively seeking a solution which will benefit all parties. Similarly, conflict resolution depends on strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish a rapport with colleagues and clients alike.

Leadership is a soft skill you can show even if you’re not directly managing others. Leadership can be thought of as a collection of various other soft skills, such as a general positive attitude and outlook, the ability to communicate effectively, and an aptitude for both self-motivating and motivating others. 

Self-awareness is a seldom talked about but highly valued soft skill; knowing when to accept responsibility for any mistakes you have made demonstrates a healthy level of humility, and a willingness to learn and progress. Please click here for more on leadership training.

 

Teamwork: Problem Solving, Decision Making and Flexibility

Like leadership, good teamwork involves a combination of other soft skills. Working in a team towards a common goal requires the intuition and interpersonal acumen to know when to be a leader, and when to be a listener. Good team players are perceptive, as well as receptive to the needs and responsibilities of others.

Problem solving does not just require analytical, creative and critical skills, but a particular mindset: those who can approach a problem with a cool and level head will often reach a solution more efficiently than those who cannot. This is a soft skill which can often rely on strong teamwork too. Problems need not always be solved alone. The ability to know who can help you reach a solution, and how they can do it, can be a great advantage.

Knowing the distinction between decisiveness and recklessness implies a soft skill in itself. Decisiveness combines a number of different abilities: the ability to put things into perspective, to weigh up the options, to assess all relevant information and, crucially, to anticipate the consequences, good and bad.

Many jobs come with demanding deadlines and occasionally high stakes. Recruiters prize candidates who show a decisive attitude, an unfaltering ability to think clearly, and a capacity to compartmentalise and set stress aside. Time management is closely related to the ability to work under pressure, as well as within tight deadlines. Employees who manage their time well are able to efficiently prioritise tasks and organise their diaries, while adopting an attitude which allows them to take on new tasks and deadlines.

Naturally, people can be wary of leaving the comfort zone formed by their repertoire of hard skills. Flexibility is an important soft skill,  as it demonstrates an ability and willingness to acquire new hard skills, and an open-mindedness to new tasks and new challenges. Employers often seek candidates who can show a willing and upbeat attitude, since many jobs come with the possibility of secondments. Millenials are particularly adept at 'multi tasking' and in an almost opposite approach to the generations before, generally need more distractions to get things done. Variety really is the spice of life which is becoming an essential component in the workplace.

Poor communication affects productivity & profitability

Popular course topics

  1. Interpersonal Communication - Essential Communication Skills at all levels

  2. Cold Calling and Soft Sales - taking the fear out of the phone and getting great results

  3. Leadership Development and Inspiring Passionate Performance, from novice to MD

  4. PR generation, Brand Inception, Social Media Management and cost free Marketing 

  5. Recruitment and Retention - especially useful for 'multi hat wearing' professionals

Lies, damned lies and statistics

If you are interested in the statistics, please click here to read the report which estimates that between 2012 and 2020 an additional 11.6 million workers will need to be recruited through a combination of replacing retiring employees (10.36m) and expanding the UK PLC workforce (1.25m employees).

There is concern that this increase in demand will be hampered by employers finding it difficult to recruit because of insufficient soft skills among available candidates for recruitment.  However, if employers commit to delivering some soft skills training or coaching then this need not become a reality nor an issue.

Read More...

Additional competencies

With 30 years of experience at the sharp end, both as a trainer (setting up the business when I was 22), recruiter, serial entrepreneur and a consultant - Investors in People Assessor among other roles,

I've got involved with many areas which enhance business growth and profit:

  • Devising review systems & training staff to use them,

  • Writing and delivering induction programmes,

  • Conducting mediation sessions to resolve internal conflicts, 

  • Creating award winning brands,

  • Social media management,

  • Writing press features which get published every time,

  • Create entries which win awards and generate free PR,

  • Mentoring managing directors...

 

The list really is endless.

So I prefer to keep an open mind about what I might be able to help you with.

 

Starting with a feeling that things are not quite hitting the spot is fine for me. 

My detective skills enjoy the challenge of working out what is going on, consultative problem solving you could call it, and I love finding the most cost effective solutions and delivering them quickly and efficiently.

Please get in touch if you would like to have a conversation, with absolutely no obligation, about your business and potential training or coaching needs.

​© 2017 by Helen Thomson of Thomson Training

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