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Soft Skills Training

Soft Skills Training

Soft Skills Training

Soft skills training is the name given to panoply of skills that will help you to inspire a positive response from everyone you work with.

"Soft skills" is a generic term that denotes many subset skills, meaning that there are many skills falling under the general heading, "soft skills".

They include:

  1. Communication skills - The proper use of your words.
  2. Conflict management skills - The proper way to handle emotional situations.
  3. Proper use of non-verbal communication skills.
  4. Motivation - The proper way to inspire action.

Soft skills are vital skills because you need to manage the behaviour of other people.

Leaders and managers especially need to be master practitioners of the soft skills because they need to get the maximum quality and quantity of work done, by the team, in the minimum amount of time and effort. Unfortunately, some managers are not good at handling people: they are renowned for their lack of skill at handling people.

Here are some specific notes on how to improve your soft skills.

1. Communication skills

You need your communication to be clear, convincing and memorable.

Above all your communication needs to be clear and distinct; meaning, that other people must understand you. They don't always have to agree with you, but they must understand you. You must be able to make your message understood.

In order to be clear and distinct, you need to work out the main gist of your message in advance.

Before you speak, THINK!

Decide what exactly you are trying to make the other person believe is true.

Then say it clearly: use exact language.

Convincing: Let us assume that you are clear, so they understand what you mean, but they don't necessarily agree with you.

Ideally they should understand you and agree with you.

You want that.

Now they know what you think, your second task is to give them reasons to believe.

So, you need to give them either:

  • Facts to back up your claim.
  • Or a valid argument to justify your claim.

If you don't give the other person sufficient facts or logical argumentation to back up your original message, then your point will be unconvincing. Your message will seem to be arbitrary, light weight, and not a "considered opinion".

Always give reasons.

Memorable: You want people to remember what you told them, don't you. You don't want your message to go in one ear and out of the other.

In order to be memorable, link your ideas to concrete examples. Illustrate your ideas with stories that the listener can relate to, mentally, as a symbol to represent what you said.

Illustrate your message.

2. Conflict management

Since people disagree, some occasional conflict in your team is inevitable. When you are facing a conflict situation it is vital that your language does not become over emotional. Use not the language of anger. Use not the language of upset. Use not stressed language.

Instead you should make your language more factual. More objective. More specific. More logical. More rational.

Your use of language during a conflict should be kept more objective and less subjective.

When you are in conflict don't talk in emotional terms.

Don't talk about how you feel. Talk instead about the facts that led to your feelings, not your feelings.

For example compare the following two monologues:

One: "Les you make me so angry. You never do what I tell you to do. You didn't send that proposal document and now the buyer is asking for it again. Your unprofessionalism has cost us credibility. You had better send the proposal by 11 o'clock this morning or you'll be sorry."

Two: "Les; you didn't send that proposal as I asked you to. Now, the buyer is having to ask for the proposal again. Because you did not send the proposal we may have lost the bid. I need you to send the proposal by 11 o'clock this morning. Would you please commit to me that you will do that? And would you please learn the lesson of this incident."

Would you agree that the second example is more objective and a more productive use of language, than the first?

The second version makes the point whilst limiting the potential for a negative emotional response and a kick back from Les.

3. Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication means; voice tone and body language.

Some notes on voice tone:

  • You want to imply that you have confidence. And confidence is implied by voice tone. Therefore, use a slightly louder than normal voice (within reason). Louder voices imply confidence and energy.
  • In addition, you want to imply that you have some personal authority, built into your personality. Authority is gained by using a slightly deeper voice tone, (within your comfort zone). Deeper voices imply more authority.
  • High pitched shrill voices have no authority.

Body language has many subsets, but the most important are: Posture, eye contact, and gestures.

  • Posture: Stand up straight! Don't slouch. Demonstrate you have a back bone: a straight back implies alertness and professionalism.
  • Eye contact: Have you heard the phrase: "The eyes are the windows to the soul"? It is important to match the amount of eye contact you are receiving from the other person. If he looks at you in the eyes; then hold his gaze. If she does NOT look at you in the eyes, don't glare at her.
  • Gestures: What do you do with your hands and arms, as you communicate? Please note the following advice: Never point at people; Not with your finger, Not with your pen. Pointing is an antagonistic gesture: counterproductive to your best interests.

4. Motivation

Motivation is an emotion. There are three fundamental human motivations:

  1. Fear.
  2. Desire.
  3. Anger.

You are motivated by your desires. You are motivated by your fears. You are motivated by anger.

So too are other people. Motivate others by desire; don't motivate people by anger or fear.

Some managers use fear to motivate the team. And to a degree, it works. But only short term. Motivation by fear, leads to long term problems.

People will be motivated into action by threats. BUT after a while this style will make enemies of your colleagues. They will act against you and they may even begin to see you as the enemy and they will sabotage your best efforts.

  • Don't use your anger to motivate others.
  • Unless it is an emergency, don't try to motivate others by inducing fear.
  • Instead, here at Corporate Coach Training, we would like to recommend that you motivate others primarily by desire.

Try to motivate others by setting them goals, and setting up rewards. And give lots of appreciation for any job well done.

Remember this fact: Over the long term, positive motivation leads to better results.

Praise, rewards and incentives work well to inspire productive effort.

The power of positive motivation is endless. The more you use this method, the more loyal and devoted the team becomes; which is what you want, isn't it?

Motivate others by mostly by using positive motivators.

This would demonstrate your high degree of soft skills training.

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Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

As the team leader or manager, you know that, on the technical level, you are very good. In your role as an effective and inspirational leader-manager, you recognise that there may be some gaps. Now you are searching for a method to help you to improve your skills as a team-leader and manager - click here to find out more!

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