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Why Soft Skills Are Hard to Do Without

An article on MSN Careers says “job candidates with strong soft skills also have the greatest potential to deliver more value over time.” The article, “Why employers emphasize soft skills — and why you should too”, identifies the current “buyers market” as an important reason that candidates need to have interpersonal and communications skills and emphasize them in the hiring process.

“For most openings these days, employers can choose from multiple candidates who have comparable “hard” qualifications. That’s why the decision often comes down to identifying the job seeker who will fit best with the team and can work easily with others, motivate colleagues, respond calmly to crises and provide exactly the kind of help that’s needed. Individuals with well-developed soft skills benefit the company in ways that, while hard to measure, are impossible to ignore.”

For the past fifty years, the TRACOM Group has been helping organizations and individuals understand and develop these “soft skills”.  The TRACOM Group’s SOCIAL STYLE is the leading interpersonal effectiveness model and has helped millions of people in their professional and everyday lives. This easy-to-understand model helps people quickly improve productivity simply by understanding the four behavioral patterns or SOCIAL STYLEs: Driving, Expressive, Amiable and Analytical

Understanding the behavioral preferences of others allows you to modify your own behavior to make others more comfortable.  This improves rapport, productivity and results. This ability to modify behavior to improve performance is known as Versatility and is closely related to the idea of emotional intelligence.  There have been numerous studies that document the impact of SOCIAL STYLE and Versatility among leaders, sales professionals and individuals.

An international publishing company conducted a formal study of their managers that found interpersonal skills are directly related to effective job performance. The study showed that managers with higher Versatility are 27% better at leading teams, 25% better at coaching others and 22% better at managing conflict.  This study found double-digit improvement in more than 30 managerial competencies when comparing managers with high Versatility. Read the full study here.

According to the MSN Careers article, “job seekers’ underestimation of soft skills may stem from a belief that technological advancements have lessened the importance of interpersonal interactions. To the contrary, technology has increased the pace and volume of interaction with colleagues not only within your own department but also throughout the company (and sometimes the world)… The ability to build strong relationships, even with people you rarely or never see, has become indispensable for many roles.”

A study of corporate training and development executives reinforces the value of these skills  and their commitment to developing such skills.  This survey asked about the impact and use of leading interpersonal skills programs  including SOCIAL STYLE, Myers-Briggs and DiSC.  Ninety-nine percent of the surveyed companies had experience with IET. Close to three-quarters of the  participating training professionals (73%) said IET training worked very well or extremely well, and that increased to 82 percent for those who offered an IET stand-alone program. Almost nine in 10 professionals (86%) used one of the leading third-party IET models: Social Style, DiSC or Myers-Briggs. Read the full study here.

But remember – not all soft skills programs are equal.  According to a research study from Colorado State University and Regis Learning Solutions comparing the leading interpersonal training programs, the TRACOM SOCIAL STYLE training model is easier to understand and use than either DiSC or Myers-Briggs.

tracom-chart2The conclusion of the study showed that participants in SOCIAL STYLE training scored significantly higher in terms of understanding and retaining course concepts and in using those skills to understand and relate effectively with others. To learn more about the study click here.

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