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Personal Leadership Development

Soft Skills Provide Strong Results

Organizations have long struggled with the criteria, amount, and appropriateness of information when selecting those individuals to access. Besides fundamental technical skill, degree, certification, and general background worthiness, finding the right “fit” of an individual with the culture and potential for contribution to the institution remains an ongoing challenge. While many organizations have empirical data on their workforce, what they do not have is comparable information on the initial entry population.

Having a better picture of the “soft skill” capabilities of new entrants would allow them enhanced insights into how they might better work with new accessions. By uncovering certain potentials in new accessions thinking/reasoning skills, behavioral tendencies, general interests and propensity for critical thinking, creativity and innovativeness, we can better inform selecting officials on how to more effectively or deliberately develop new entrants.

Working with an existing customer we partnered to develop a 1 ½ day seminar targeted to assist new hires to their workforce. The goal was to assist new hires for a smooth acclimation into the workforce. The focus of the seminar was on the “big picture” of three consistent challenges faced by new professionals:

The overall goal was to mitigate frustration and misunderstanding. We did this by helping them take stock of whom they are and where they might fit into the system. While the emphasis of this seminar was on the individual we introduced the concept of what traits and characteristics are important to become an effective follower, primarily to establish a baseline for their expectations; and expectations of others. We also provided them with some basic “rules of engagement” to give the participants an idea of social, cultural and legal expectations the workplace has in place. These included highlights of perceptions other generations may have about dress, communication, and basic behavior through a series of “mentoring” “do’s and don’ts” and understanding generational perceptions.

To rise, thrive and lead in challenging environments, it is essential for new employees to understand themselves and what makes them tick—globally top ranked psychological instruments were used to this end (CSI, MBTI, and FIRO-B). For example, as a generational cohort, “Millennials” desire to do meaningful work and ascend in the workplace. Armed with accurate self-awareness, the Interns are postured to understand their impact on others. This allows them to move, themselves and others, towards the efficient accomplishment of organization and personal goals. We also incorporated a short exercise to tie together the concepts of self and a team environment. The customer was thoroughly satisfied with both the immediate feedback from over 500 participants who rated the seminar the best of any indoctrination training they had received and on average a 4.9/5.0 as value-added to them.

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