December 1, 2020 6 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
Claude Silver, VaynerMedia’s Chief Heart Officer, recently posted a quote on her Instagram page that caught my eye: “People Skills, EQ, ‘Soft’ Skills, HUMAN Skills – these are our anchors. They ground us, remind us that we are real. Without this we fly away. “
Companies tend to overlook soft skills and focus on hard skills. When LinkedIn released its list of the Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2020 earlier this year, it was not surprising that computer literacy dominated hard skills. With the pandemic in March and the forced shift from stationary to home work, this trend will only accelerate.
Soft skills are the unsung heroes, however, and LinkedIn’s top 5 were creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. When speaking to executives on soft skills, I want to include three more – time management, storytelling, and cultural awareness.
When you understand each skill and how to improve it, you will have an edge over your competition.
Related Topics: How Soft Skills Can Help You Move Forward in a Technical World
A great way to bring new ideas to any business is to focus on other industries and countries. What concepts are they using that might work for your industry? Small group brainstorming to avoid conflict, make a list and present your ideas before anyone else. Include stupid ideas, crazy ideas, anything goes. Indeed, sometimes the wilder the better. Recall that $ 15 million worth of Pet Rocks were sold. Let that sink in.
To understand the belief, most people would agree that Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, is the person to turn to. His book deals with the six universal principles of conviction: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, constancy, sympathy and consensus.
Above all, we must not abuse these skills. Sales Advisor Jeffery Gitomer puts it this way: People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. “Therefore, in applying these principles, we must take into account the wisdom of Aristotle, who said:“ Character can almost be called the most effective means of persuasion. “
Working together takes teamwork to a whole new level. It brings people with different skills and perspectives together to complete a project, often without a leader. Companies that can use these soft skills know that communication is paramount. It is important that all lines of communication remain open.
This is part of the skill of the 21st century. Change is happening at breakneck speed. It is impossible for us to see what will only be a few years ahead of us. VR, augmented reality and much more will change the way we do business. It is therefore important that companies are always aware of new technologies instead of waiting for them to become commonplace. Starting early means the learning curve is low.
5. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined as “the ability to perceive, control and express one’s own emotions and to deal sensibly and sensitively with interpersonal relationships”. People with high EQ are better able to deal with high pressure situations, conflict resolution, constructive criticism and much more. This skill is in great demand with teams, especially teams with different backgrounds.
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 75% of hiring managers rated EQ versus IQ. Hard skills and intelligence are more easily imparted to employees, while EQ takes more time and understanding to be understood.
Related: Emotional intelligence is the secret to leadership in times of crisis
6. Self motivation
Overpowering is something that many entrepreneurs have to grapple with. This is the world we live in today. This is where self-motivation comes in. We all have to learn to manage our energy. Energy is not only created through a balanced diet, but also through our personal pursuit of performance, resilience and commitment.
A personal urge to achieve is directly related to the way we think. Research shows that those with a growth philosophy are much more likely to succeed in their endeavors because they believe they can improve.
Resilience arises from the courage to master challenges. This doesn’t mean we should be frivolous in our decisions, but learn to handle risk in order to understand the opportunities that best match our talents and when to outsource others or just leave them alone.
Engagement is the surest way to provide us with anecdotal evidence that we are important and that we are headed in the right direction. It is the essence of goal setting.
7. Time management
High performance is directly related to people’s use of time. Most entrepreneurs already work hard, but what separates those who succeed from those who struggle or fail is their ability to execute the 3Ps: Plan, Prioritize, and Perform.
Plan: Best-selling author Brian Tracy explains the importance of planning by saying, “Every minute you spend planning saves 10 minutes doing it. This gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy! “
Prioritization: Prioritization simply means where your available resources can best be used. Stephen Covey explains that there are four quadrants that divide tasks into urgency and importance. He goes on to explain that the key is to those who are important but not urgent.
Performance: This is where the rubber meets the road. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Execution is the game.” Without it, even the best plan will fail.
Related: The 10 Unique Soft Skills Employers Want New Employees
8. Tell stories
The late American business philosopher Jim Rohn often illustrated the difference between great storytelling by speaking of Cicero and Demosthenes, two great speakers of ancient times. “It is said that when Cicero spoke, the crowds were impressed and exclaimed, ‘What a brilliant speech! ‘When Demosthenes spoke, the people said,’ Let’s march! ‘ “What sets storytellers apart is that they have the ability to get people to act. They understand how they can reach inside us and touch our souls.
How can you improve their storytelling skills? One solution would be to join Toastmasters, which challenges you to create short speeches that take a punch.
As Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map, puts it: “Millions of people work in global environments, looking at everything from their own cultural perspective and assuming that all differences, controversies and misunderstandings are personal. This is not due to laziness. Many well-meaning people do not educate themselves about cultural differences because they believe that it will be enough if they focus on individual differences. “
Covid-19 may have temporarily halted movement between borders, but expect a return once a vaccine is developed. As our world has shrunk, more and more companies have understood the pros and cons of working with a global team.