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Soft Skills Revolution: A Guide for Connecting with Compassion for Trainers, Teams, and Leaders

ISBN: 978-1-118-10037-0
256 pages
April 2013, Pfeiffer
Soft Skills Revolution: A Guide for Connecting with Compassion for Trainers, Teams, and Leaders (1118100379) cover image

Description

Soft skills are the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. In increasingly competitive environments, soft skills training can be a vital resource.

Soft Skills Revolution offers trainers, organizational leaders, and HR professionals a handy guide for building their soft skills through a variety of methods including individualized exercises and activities and structured training programs, as well as informal learning, mentoring, and coaching. The book offers readers information on the background of soft skills development, and suggestions for enhancing soft skills through traditional learning programs as well as informal learning approaches.

Soft Skills Revolution contains practical guidance for creating an engaging learning experience that highlights such important concepts as:

  • Components for Clear Communication

  • The Power of Yes

  • Listening and the Language of Acceptance

  • A Nine-Step Model for Problem Solving

  • Interventions for Moving a Team to Results

  • Giving Helpful Feedback

  • Moving from Conflict to Cooperation

In addition, The Leader's Connection section is designed for upper level management and facilitators who want to help organizational leaders integrate the book's important concepts and skills into their interactions with team and staff members.

"Kamin's engaging writing style, deep and down to earth at the same time, makes this book an easy learning experience of the 'hard' soft skills we all need to master. By developing these soft skills we can make our world a better place!"

—Isabel Rimanoczy, Legacycoach, Director Minervas, Women Changing the World and author of Big Bang Being

"Kamin has mastered the challenge of bringing soft skills to life. Her simple definitions, clear examples, references to seminal authors, focused questions, conceptual frameworks, and helpful hints invite and encourage the reader to make these soft skills her/his own."

—Ernie Turner, president, LIM LLC and author of Action Reflection Learning

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Table of Contents

Tables, Figures, and Activities xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

1. What Are Soft Skills? 7

A Simple Definition 8

The Importance of Soft Skills in Business 8

Soft Skills in Practice 10

A Progressive Defi nition of Soft Skills 12

The Evolution of Soft Skills 13

Teaching Soft Skills 14

Soft Skills for the 21st Century 15

The Leader’s Connection 16

2. The Hidden Side of Communication 19

Behind Our Human Interactions 19

Aligning and Clarifying Your Motives 25

Unpleasant Organizational Players 29

What Is Clear Communication? 31

Removing Communication Barriers 34

The Leader’s Connection 37

Activities 39

3. The Power of Positive Intentions 43

The Law of Attraction 43

Kindness, Positivity, and Self-Esteem 46

The Reciprocity Effect 47

Why “Yes” Is So Powerful 51

The Rewards of Altruism 53

The Leader’s Connection 54

Activities 56

4. Tact and Diplomacy 61

What Diplomacy and Tact Accomplish 62

Ten Ways to Invalidate Others 64

The Language of Acceptance 68

Five Steps to Effective Listening 69

The Power of Questioning 75

The Leader’s Connection 79

Activities 81

5. The Challenge of Problem Solving 87

A Model for Problem Solving 88

The Nine Steps to Effective Problem Solving 88

The Role of Intuition in Decisions and Problem Solving 99

Other Elements to Consider 100

The Leader’s Connection 102

Activities 104

6. Soft Skills and Teams 111

Types of Teams and Their Uses 112

The Two Sides of Teams 112

Four Stages of Team Growth 115

Interventions That Encourage Results 122

Team Member Roles 123

The Leader’s Connection 129

Activities 131

7. The Personality Factor 137

Understanding Personality Styles 137

Finding Your Source of Energy 141

Discovering How You Gather Information 144

Identifying How You Make Decisions 148

Describing Your Personality 150

The Leader’s Connection 153

Activities 155

8. Taking the Sting Out of Feedback 159

The Challenges of Feedback 159

Types of Feedback 162

Giving Helpful Feedback 162

Receiving Feedback 166

Making Feedback Positive 172

The Leader’s Connection 173

Activities 176

9. Conflict and Cooperation 181

The Stages of Rage 182

Dealing with Difficult or Angry People 185

Assertive Behavior Techniques 192

Take Care of You 194

The Leader’s Connection 196

Activities 198

10. Conclusion 205

How Philosophy Grounds Practice 205

Your Purpose 205

Content Review 207

Parting Thoughts 212

References 215

About the Author 219

Index 221

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Author Information

Maxine Kamin, M.Ed., is the founder and president of TOUCH Consulting, Inc. (Training for Organizational Development, Unparalleled Customer Service, Communications, and Human Resources) headquartered in Plantation, Florida. Learn more at www.touchconsulting.com.

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