Sik Mind? With Dr George Sik - February 2015
Saturday, 28th February 2015
A Sik Mind?
With Dr George Sik BSc (Hons), PhD, C.Psychol, C.Sci, AFBPsS
The importance of soft skills in succeeding at work was highlighted by a recent campaign launched by a number of organisations, including multinationals, and industry leaders. Called ‘Backing Soft Skills’ it highlights that such skills should be developed and encouraged – and the potentially disastrous effects of not doing so. Of course, this is hardly news to those in the HR and Learning & Development worlds but it still seems to surprise people that having a good CV is not the be-all and end-all of success at work. I think we’ve all worked with people whose abilities (particularly those attained by learning and acquiring knowledge) were beyond question, but whose lack of soft skills made them a liability. I find this is particularly true as people progress in their careers and operational work is increasingly accompanied by supervision, management and leadership.
The five top soft skills identified as crucial (and The Quest Profiler can help in the diagnosis and improvement of all of these) were: communication and interpersonal skills; teamwork; time and self-management; decision making and taking responsibility. You could argue that quality of decision making is ability related, but speed is certainly in the realm of personality. A number of newspaper articles lately concerning working with colleagues who had little in the way of soft skills seem to emphasise the point: how you do it is as important – sometimes more so – as what you do.