I hope you are having a great week, and your happiness and those around you are shining through. (Tip of the week Monday 11th Jan)
When was the last time you taught your child or a student a useful soft skill? Did they even know that was what you were doing? Did they ask, “what is the point of this”? It would not surprise me. As a teacher, I had to field many questions like this; the most common was, “When will I ever use trigonometry in my life?” I must admit, I did not always have an answer to this question unless they wanted to do something scientific or in construction.
But I did when they asked why we learned about soft skills. Today, I will set out my top 3 opportunities all students should be provided to develop their soft skills in preparation for work.
“Soft skills” is a topic that often comes up in my conversations - I must admit I haven’t focused on this nearly enough in the newsletters or previous emails - which has prompted me to share this email with you today because it is crucial.
A great quote in this regard comes from author Peggy Klaus
“Soft skills get little respect, but they will make or break your career.”
The definition explains why this is so:-
“Soft Skills: Personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.
The importance of these skills is this: -
“We are preparing students for a successful career.”
I have had students practice a good firm handshake in the past or producing a big smile as a warm welcome when meeting people. When having conversations, encouraging them to hold eye contact and present positive body language were things I used to get them to do during school registration time. I remember the looks I would get when I would ask them to prepare a group presentation to present in the assembly in front of the entire year group!! Pure horror, but they did it and developed organizational skills and got a confidence boost as a side bonus. All in the name of creating opportunities to develop their soft skills. With the world changing and the job market being even more competitive, it is time to step it up.
In the modern workplace, you now need more than technical skills to be successful. Today’s employers seek candidates who can perform their jobs well but who can also fit into the company culture and interact seamlessly with other employees.
Since most jobs require teamwork, or if you work alone where you may need to interact with potential clients, it is crucial to possess soft skills to enhance your chances of success with your chosen field, so let us start thinking ahead. If we as parents or educators get the opportunity, we should be trying to add some of these opportunities to their learnings.
My top 10 opportunities all students should be given to develop their soft skills: -
Students, especially the older ones, can also improve their soft skills by watching others and practicing what they observe.
Working with a professional coach can help individuals or groups develop “soft skills” in readiness for work. If you would like to know more about how EDGE Coaching could help your child or your students with soft skills development, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.edgebarbados.com and use the contact page.
Enjoy the rest of your week and, this week, see if you can help someone else follow their dream too.
Richie Forde, Performance Coach and the Founder of Edge Coaching Services.