Today's post is by Meridith Elliott Powell, founder and owner of MotionFirst and author of Winning in the Trust and Value Economy.
I believe that “soft skills” proficiency is the fastest route to profitability. Here are the top must-have soft skills to succeed in the trust-and-value economy in which we currently operate.
How stretchy are you? How willing are you to bend to accommodate a customer, a co-worker, or the marketplace? Yes, hard skills tell us exactly what rules, policies, and procedures we need to follow to be successful, but while those serve as a good guide, success in this economy is all about your ability to stretch, bend, and change.
The one who can communicate in a way that ensures understanding, buy-in, and then ultimately, action wins in the trust-and-value economy. The true master of communication in today’s economy is our “GPS.” Why? Because when things go awry, he or she simply recalculates and tries again and again until success is achieved.
“Connection” refers to the ability to emotionally engage others, build bridges, and create cooperative and mutually beneficial relationships. Connection is how we establish trust and win permission to take the relationship to the next level, whether than means getting a customer to buy a product or service or an employee to truly engage with your organization. Lack of ability to connect with others severely decrease your chances of winning customers and retaining talented employees.
This economy is tough enough, and no one, most of all a consumer with choices, wants to be around anyone with a negative, defeated, or just plain rude attitude. Consumers who are willing to do business spend money, and they are looking for companies and individuals who are a pleasure to be around and leave them feeling good about the experience.
The more people who succeed in your organization, the better off you are – employees and customers alike. You need to be an organization that values, trains, and rewards a team player, someone who is collaborative and works to put the success of the whole ahead of the individual win.
What you offer in this economy is not nearly as important as how you offer it, and how you offer it has everything to do with how well you and your team are executing on the soft skills.