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Soft Skills Have Hard Value

Body builders and professional trainers understand the importance of and spend a lot of time building “core strength”. “Core Training”, with regard to getting in shape, is the balanced development of the deep and superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominals and muscles of the back. It is now common understanding among many of these physical fitness professionals that without core training, optimum development will not be reached.

The same is true in training for business and professional development. What has traditionally been referred to as “soft skills” training and includes proficiencies such as communication skills, conflict resolution and negotiation, personal effectiveness, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, team building, and leadership skills to name a few is now being referred to as “core skills” training. In an industry such as aviation or IT, there is a heavy emphasis on technical training. Ongoing technical training is required. And technical training is very important for all of these professionals to be able to do their jobs at a high level of proficiency.

However, the “core skills” training sometimes gets passed over as not being as important to a person’s business and professional well being. Organizations’ Oops files (the cases where a customer has to be compensated to make up for a mistake) then continue to grow, and individuals suffer as a result if communication skills, service skills, leadership skills, teamwork skills are lacking.

Organizations (and business professionals) that are at the cutting edge and most successful at what they do, understand that people skills development—understanding better how to communicate with team members and customers; being able to resolve conflicts without involving supervisors; finding ways to team build and lead others; and many other “core skills” are very important to reaching that next level and rising above the competition. Many times, the “oops” file cases will start to shrivel or even go away and optimum development can be achieved when team members are encouraged (or required) to take service/communication/people or “core skills” training.

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