The Importance of Soft Skills

leaderI’ve almost finished Mike Brent and Fiona Dent’s The Leader’s Guide To Influence: How To Use Soft Skills To Get Hard Results. In essence it’s a book about working relationships – how to understand things like your personality and working style; how to build trust and rapport; emotional intelligence; reframing; influence, and more. The book has lots of useful and practical information, graphs and charts, including worked examples on things like performance reviews and handling conflict. Perhaps the most useful thing for me to think about was the concept of ‘flex’. That is working out what my personality and working style is, tuning in to somebody else’s, and thinking about how I flex or bend toward them to help them. We can’t be something we’re not, but we can adapt to find ways in which we can better relate and communicate to those with different personalities and working styles. So rather than creating clones we can celebrate diversity and use it to our advantage. Overall the book is solid, not spectacular, but I suspect will come down from the shelves relatively regularly in years to come, as I seek to develop some of these ‘soft skills’ to enable better working and working relationships. If you too want to think further about these things this book is worth a read. Any other suggested reading?

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