We all talk about Soft Skills and perhaps many of you are like me, you have trouble identifying what Soft Skills actually are. I found a good post the other day that laid it out. You can see the post here. Even better than the post was the accompanying chart. What I noticed right away is that as managers, we tend to hire for the Hard Skills and run into performance problems with the Soft Skills.
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As someone who works in the soft skills area, you are quite right, Charles. One of my client areas is being called into organisations to work with people who have been appointed to positions of management because they are highly competent technically (the hard skills) but end up being a disaster for the organisation in that role because they do not have the soft skills to relate with their teams or to motivate and inspire them. As a result, people begin to leave – the old adage – people join organisations and leave managers. Orgabnisation lose very talented people because of the manager. It is also very difficult for the manager also because they were seen as a great success as a technically compteent professional, but they become a fauilure as a manager. Their sense of professional identity is badly damaged.We need to be recognising that leaders and managers need well-developed soft skills
Thanks for the comment. Your reply reminds me of a conversation I had with someone who was responsible for training at IBM for many years. He said that IBM spent a considerable amount on training new managers just so that these new managers wouldn’t alienate all of the highly competent technical people they had working for them.