Compared to hard skills, acquired knowledge and professional core competencies, the term “soft skills” sounds wimpy and ineffective, doesn’t it? Perhaps that is why folks downplay the credibility of professions requiring an overload of soft skills, compared to hard skills.
According to Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge in the galaxy, the definition of soft skills covers a lot of ground. The combination of people, social and communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients (among others) which enable people to navigate the environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve their goals with the addition of hard skills and core competencies.
Are you working to create a balance between your soft skills and hard skills?
First, to become more successful in your job and career, learn to communicate and collaborate with other people. However, often these colleagues may not perceive a need to balance their own soft and hard skills. Sometimes these people serve a subordinate function to yours. Alternatively, they may represent your leadership.
Then, you may realize that, up until now, your success is due to a plethora of soft skills. However, will your career progress be impeded because you did not earn hard skills certification or a degree?
In addition, you may have more professional acronyms denoting hard skills appearing after your name than anyone else in the workplace. However, these acronyms are meaningless. Why? Very few people understand either what you do or what you are saying to them. All those acronyms do not earn you career credibility. In order to accomplish that outcome, you must communicate cross-functionally and inclusively. Even to all of those soft skill- rich colleagues you may avoid.
Did you know that my speaking programs and workshops are targeted towards moving professionals one millimeter beyond their hard skill and soft skill comfort levels, towards successful collaboration?
A desirable outcome of creating a balance between hard skills and soft skills is that everyone seated around the table collaborates productively and profitably.
Otherwise, all the soft skills people gravitate towards their own kind, as do those hard skills folks. As a result, an Us versus Them mindset evolves into an entire organizational culture. When that happens, the only type of work environment that people navigate is limited, restricted and unimaginative.
Today’s One Millimeter Mindset nugget for you: Do you have a balance or an imbalance between your hard skills and your soft skills? Which skill set do you need to make more robust? How will improving your competencies result in greater success, not only for yourself, but for your colleagues and customers?
Start moving one millimeter forward, today.
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Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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