Soft Skills?

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Image of the text 2018

The New Year is always a time to reflect on the past year and commit to new disciplines and practices to make this year a success.

It’s interesting when discussing this in a group that the phrase “soft skills” comes out as something that often needs developing. The term, I think, is unhelpful as it suggests that the ability to manage oneself and others is somehow not as powerful or effective as “hard” technical skills.

I’d like to suggest a framework for these skills and offer some practical examples which might be helpful in pump-priming our New Year.

In terms of defining success and failure, I came across a couple of useful definitions which I’d like to share:

Simple error in judgement every day = Failure

Disciplines done daily = Success

The first, and most critical point is that we all have a “choice” in our behaviours, every day. How we respond to a challenge, a criticism, even how we choose to say hello in the morning to our colleagues. I would choose high energy responses as these both ignite us and others around us.

In terms skills to develop, thrive and move into success, there are 5 elements I like to propose to move us into a productive and successful state:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Have a vision
  3. Develop and practice relationship skills
  4. Continuously develop oneself
  5. Get things done

My challenge to you is this. Take a piece of paper and write down the 5 headings along the top. Now either individually or, better still, with a team brainstorm 3 habits or things you can do starting today under each heading. These can then become your daily routines and disciplines to start you on the path to success.

My suggestion is to keep this list visible so you can refer to it daily. Aristotle said “We are what we continually do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. Let’s do magic this year by choosing our behavior and creating great habits.

This guest blog was provided by Bernard Page

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