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Soft Skills and Leadership Development Training

Soft skills* are communication skills. They involve communicating with others and with yourself. Examples of soft skills include listening, coaching, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, problem-solving, oral and written communication, accountability, accepting feedback, asking for help, flexibility, commitment, time management, teamwork, and negotiation.

But can soft skills be trained? That depends what you mean by training. Simply having people attend a workshop or watch a PowerPoint is probably not going to do it. But some more in-depth, in-person training that involves role-playing, followed by practice and coaching, can have some real benefits.

In terms of leadership development, we all use leadership skills in certain capacities. To effectively do this, we need a strong set of soft skills as well as knowledge and skills related to the specifics of our field (“hard skills”).

Leadership has been defined in various ways. This Harvard Business Review article cites a study that groups the most highly valued leadership skills into the categories of strong ethics and safety, self-organizing, efficient learning, nurturing growth, and connection and belonging. All of these skill areas can be developed through training and coaching.

I’ve worked to foster soft skills and leadership development as a curriculum developer and consultant, career development professional, and mindfulness instructor.

When I work with you, I practice my own soft skills in listening carefully to your goals and needs and helping you craft a program that is tailored to your organization. Rather than imposing my own agenda, I draw from my prior experience and knowledge to help create materials that are ideal for your team.

Please contact me to discuss your upcoming needs.

 


*To be honest, I don’t care for the term “soft skills.” If you type “soft” into thesaurus.com, you’ll see such words as  fluffy, mushy, and flimsy. The types of skills we’re talking about are essential and embody strength. They’re not “mushy.” I’m using the term “soft skills” because everyone else does and it’s recognizable. (Not that I always do what everyone else does…!)