This is an open letter to organizations who don’t invest time or energy in soft skill training but do invest in hard skill training. Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that may be required in a given context, such as a software skills, sales techniques, and leadership skills. Soft skills are often associated with a person’s “EQ” or Emotional Intelligence Quotient which is the cluster of personality traits that characterize one’s relationships with other people. These are personality-driven skills like engagement, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk. But my favorite is the ability to connect.
However, though people are more keen in investing in training of hard skills in this modern world of competition, soft skills have a huge — and often hidden — payoff.
Let me lay some mind-blowing statistics on you. (Via the Harvard Business Journal, 2012.)
Happy people are 25% more productive than their unhappy, mopey counterparts. That’s huge.
• Happy people sell 37% more than their gloomy counterparts. 37% (Nope, it’s not a typo.)
Bottom line: you can’t afford NOT to invest in soft skills.
Next time your organization needs to invest in itself (Hint: that time is ALL of the time) don’t discount investing in training your people how to be better people. Don’t ignore soft skills; run towards them.
We tend to think backwards; When things are good we’ll invest in our people. When times are tough we better invest in sales training (or some other hard skill.) It’s often a mistake. Your people already know HOW to do their jobs well, but something is preventing them from rocking it. What’s the problem? Maybe there is an engagement issue. Maybe there is a culture issue. Maybe it’s a lack of motivation. But rarely is it a knowledge gap that can be “fixed” with hard skill training.
Looking for somebody to come in and get your PEOPLE to where they need to be? Ready for your people to take ownership, get excited again, and be part of the solution. I’d love to be part of that conversation. Give us a call at 303.691.0726 or contact us today and we’ll talk about creating an event that helps your organization to make a difference … Starting with the people who run it.
Brad Montgomery is a motivational speaker and business speaker who helps with the people side of business. If you’re ready to get your people want to do their best, it’s time to give us a call. He’s a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, he’s proven himself with top organizations in government and health care. And he’s ready to help you starting now.