4 soft skills you need to work on, and why (Forbes)

By: David Sturt & Todd Nordstrom June 23, 2016

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2016/06/23/4-soft-skills-you-need-to-work-on-and-why/#32a6d48069cc

Would you rather have a co-worker or manager who’s a leader in your field, a true expert with great amounts of knowledge and experience—but isn’t much of a people person, and doesn’t get along with the team very well? Or would you rather work side by side with an inexperienced colleague or leader who’s collaborative, curious, friendly, and pleasant? For most people, the answer is a no-brainer: “Give me someone I can work with! The knowledge and skills will come.”

The good news is, if you think you fall into the first category (lots of smarts and experience, but a lack of people skills), you can turn that around. We meet these people all the time. And, it’s often difficult for them to ask for help regarding their “softer skills.” Nevertheless, we’ve found four soft skills you need to make people feel at ease and help them trust you at work—and, by the way, you’ll be making more friends, boosting your productivity, and innovating in no time.


“Listen first, talk later.” “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” “You learn when you listen.” If you’ve heard these—or any other of the myriad of quotes—about listening, you may grasp the importance of this skill. But, if you’re the type of person who finds themselves anxiously planning what you’ll say while others speak, you definitely should understand how important it is to just stop and listen. When a co-worker is communicating with you, give them your full attention. Put your phone down. Make eye contact. Respond only after you’ve heard everything they want to say. When you start making listening a priority, you may just see a lot of previous problems disappear—because listening carefully develops your empathy and understanding in any situation.

Nonverbal Communication

We’ve written before about the importance of being a good communicator. As a leader, your communication style sets the tone for the team. It’s important to be clear, concise, and respectful when you speak or write emails, but your nonverbal cues are another crucial part of good communication. Facial expressions, posture, gestures, and eye contact all count—and they say a lot. Make sure to be positive, polite, and respectful in your face-to-face interactions at work. Because when your body language conflicts with your words, people will believe your nonverbal cues, says Darlene Price, author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results. So keep the eye rolling and crossed arms to a minimum, lest you come across as disinterested and rude.

Dealing With Change

You know the only constant is change—so why is it so hard to manage when something suddenly shifts at work? Whether it’s a team member leaving or arriving, a change in direction, or even a new office space, change can be tricky to navigate. Our top tips? Keep your head. Ask questions so you understand the situation. Enlist help from friends and colleagues when you feel overwhelmed. And be patient, because adjusting to a new situation will probably take a little time. If you’re a leader who needs to navigate change with the team, check out the do’s and don’ts of leading through change the next time you’re stuck in a transition.

Saying Thank You

Yes, you’ve heard this before. Saying thank you really matters. When you reach out to a team member, a colleague, or even your boss (they deserve a thank you, too!) to appreciate their effort or big win, you’re projecting more than just professionalism. You’re also communicating kindness and team spirit—and boosting co-workers’ motivation to innovate and make a difference. The team grows stronger, people are happier and more satisfied with their jobs, and the whole company benefits. It’s a win-win-win. So if you don’t say thank you nearly enough—and most people don’t, research shows—use these best practices to work more appreciation into your work life.

Hard skills might be what get you the job—but soft skills are what drive friendship, success and happiness at work. So brush up on these simple but crucial people skills to boost your professional success. And don’t be surprised if they help your life outside work either!

Millennials want jobs that are meaningful to society | SmartPlanet

Millennials are more socially conscious and are looking for jobs that have a positive impact on the world.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

compassion –  ” . . . The recession-era 12th grade students surveyed between 2008 and 2010 showed an increase in concern for others and had more of an interest in social issues compared with pre-recession 12th graders surveyed between 2004 and 2006. One example is that students surveyed during the recession were increasingly looking for a job that is “worthwhile to society,” as this graph shows:

The study also found that recession-era youth were more likely to turn down the heat in their home to save energy (63 percent) compared with pre-recession youth (55 percent); more likely to think about social problems (30 percent versus 26 percent); and more likely to use a bicycle or public transit to get to work (36 percent versus 28 percent).

“This is the silver lining of the Great Recession,” said Patricia Greenfield, professor of psychology at UCLA and senior author of the study, in a statement. “These findings are consistent with my theory that fewer economic resources lead to more concern for others and the community. It is a change very much needed by our society.”

See on www.smartplanet.com

Global assignments to rise as organisations try to plug skills gaps – PwC report

Over two thirds of graduates want an overseas assignment during their career, but only 11% are willing to work in India and only 2% in…

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

War for Talent–  “PwC’s ‘Talent Mobility: 2020 and beyond’ report, based on data from over 900 global companies, reveals that companies will need to offer new forms of global mobility to respond to skills shortages, changing business needs and employee preferences.  –  According to the research, only 1% of people are now doing traditional assignments which involve three years in a different country and then returning home. The number of mobile workers, including long-distance commuters (who spend a week or two at a time in another country), has increased and now account for around 8% of the working population. The research reveals that the average length of a posting has now dropped to 18 months and the number of females taking on global assignments is predicted to increase. Women are projected to make up over a quarter of all assignees by 2020.   –   PwC’s analysis reveals that companies need to increase the number of globally mobile employees to deal with talent constraints. PwC research with over 1,400 HR directors globally reveals that 15% of organisations were unable to achieve growth forecasts in overseas markets due to talent constraints. This has led to nearly two thirds (64%) changing their approach to global mobility.”

See on pwc.blogs.com