Our response to COVID-19: Online Coaching
During this time of the coronavirus (Covid-19) worldwide pandemic we’re obviously not easily able to deliver our courses in the traditional way in groups because of travel and social distancing restrictions, however all our training can be delivered online through video conferencing, or over the phone.
How to develop soft skills to become a really powerful communicator
- a London UK management training course & leadership development programme
called Skills with People?
Inspire and motive,
Persuade without arguing,
Criticise WITHOUT antagonising,
Confront difficult issues confidently,
Be tough on the issue and soft on the person.
Is this the right soft skills course for you?
Yes, if any of the following sound like you;-
- I'd like to be able to speak my mind and stand up for what I think and want without getting a reputation for being difficult.
- I'd like to be able to say no firmly but without causing offence.
- I'd like to be able to give honest feedback and criticism without putting people on the defensive.
- I'd like to be able to receive criticism without being defensive.
- I'd like to be more successful at persuading people to my point of view.
- I'd like to be more helpful when people come to me for help.
- I'd like to be more successful using leadership skills with people at all levels.
Meet the trainers - An introduction video to our soft skills training course (6:32 minutes)
What you'll take away from this soft skills training
Don't be misled by the word, 'soft" in soft skills development'
- These soft skills can make you tougher and more honest which can be empowering.
- You'll be able to connect better with soft skills for better teamwork, customer service, problem-solving, productivity.
- You'll be able to use soft skills to gain people's co-operation, win their confidence, and persuade without appearing arrogant.
- You'll take away from this soft skills training a simple but very powerful set of leadership skills that you'll be able to apply together in all your most challenging interactions, both in the workplace and outside work.
- Your emotional intelligence will be enhanced. This isn't just a technical training or a theoretical education. With the help of an instructor you'll learn the psychology and soft skills behind interpersonal relationships, as well as providing you with lots of practice.
- Become skilled at applying the soft skills you've learned in the exact situations, scenarios and relationships you're struggling with the most. You'll rehearse practical strategies that will make you more successful, and receive lots of feedback so you can improve your results.
- Your confidence will grow when using soft skills for handling difficult people, difficult situations, uncomfortable or awkward conversations and clashing personalities.
- You'll be able to calm people down and use soft skills to resolve conflict if they complain or become aggressive.
- You'll be able to stand up for yourself without starting a fight.
- You'll be able to put your foot down without causing resentment.
- You'll be able to handle delicate conversations with more sensitivity.
- You'll be able to praise without patronising.
- You'll be able to offer constructive criticism without making people feel attacked.
- You'll be able to mentor supportively.
- You'll be able to confidently handle resistance in meetings and gracefully address objections.
A practical guide - What soft skills can do for you
What are soft skills?
These are the interpersonal relationship skills that make organisations function collaboratively and cooperatively, where employees are encourage to talk to one another and to negotiate whenever there is disagreement about how best to solve problems that inevitably arise. The content of a thorough soft skills curriculum include, communication skills, problem-solving, leadership, interpersonal, team-work, conflict resolution, feedback and constructive criticism. Improving any of these can make an enormous difference to the moral and productivity of a workforce.
What is the difference between soft skills and hard skills?
Hard skills refer to technical skills. For many there comes a point in their career where the drive, knowledge, skill and technical ability that made them successful in their organisations and career in the past are no longer enough to carry them much further. We frequently deal with people who have become experts in their field. They are very experienced in their specialist subject. However, as they get older and become more senior their roles change as they gradually move further away from the coal-face. They take on more and more responsibily for managing other people, over-seeing budgets and projects and resolving conflicts between other people who have competing priorities. The more senior managers become the less time and attention they are able to dedicate to the kind of technical work that got them there in the first place, and instead they have to manage other people who are doing the detailed technical work.
What matters now more than ever before is how successful you are at dealing with people, and may include their abilities to win people round when they don’t see eye-to-eye. What they now need to focus on is developing their soft skills, in particular their emotional intelligence, their communication skills so they can support the organisation with strong leadership. If they can learn to facilitate better quality teamwork it can lead to more efficient decision making processes and a knock on effect to productivity.
What makes this soft skills training so effective?
One of the reasons why this approach to soft skills training is so successful is because it's so memorable. It's based on a very simple idea (of course, simple doesn't necessarily mean easy). There are just two basic, essential soft skills. If the way people respond to you matters to your success at work, these two skills can make an enormous difference. Once you've mastered them there'll be few situations you can't handle successfully. On this course as well as mastering these two basic soft skills you receive a great deal of coaching in how to apply them to the situations you find most challenging.
What can make these soft skills hard to learn is that for many people they clash with deep-seated habits, often learned early in life, particularly in the area of how we handle feelings. But the good news is that with determination and careful attention it is usually possible to break free of our deep-seated habits. That's why so much individual coaching is provided on this course.
Why is emotional intelligence such a powerful soft skill?
People become irrational when their emotions are aroused. We are more successful in life and at work if we are aware of, can admit, and can talk about feelings. However, this goes against the grain because many of us have got used to suppress feelings. Because our feelings can sometime be painful we learnt to protect ourselves (and others) by denying them with phrases like, "There, there, don't cry", "Pull yourself together", "Let's be rational - let's not get emotional". We learnt that if we express a bad feeling the worse we feel, so we learnt to stop expressing it so we can feel better.
But ignoring or suppressing emotions is a mistake. Bottling up feelings makes us tense, defensive, unreasonable, close-minded, rigid and inhibited. The more we are able to can admit and express feelings and let off steam the more we are able to be relaxed, reasonable, open-minded, flexible and uninhibited. When we learn to talk about feelings in a safe way it enables us to connect better with others and recover the full use of our rational faculties. Empathy and assertiveness are the skills that help us do this.
This soft skills coaching and leadership training course can teach you how to become really good at these soft skills. Here is an example. The approach illustrated can be just as effective in the workplace, with friends and family.
What are the benefits of these particular soft skills in the workplace?
An example - how emotional intelligence saved a manager's job
Here is an example of a problem we often see from people who come to our soft skills course. It leads them to want to be much better at showing more empathy to others at work, as well as more skill at putting their foot down without upsetting others. Does this ring any bells for you or someone you know?
The problem – how soft skills could save your career?
A capable accountant with sound ideas and lots of energy. But because he talked a great deal and didn’t listen, people complained that he didn’t seem to understand them, because he never showed any empathy. They had little confidence in his advice and were reluctant to take it. This made him very impatient because he knew he was usually right. He couldn’t understand people’s reaction, and put it down to their stupidity. His boss, who thought highly of him, was very concerned about his reputation and tried to make him aware that he was putting people off by not listening. Without being able to get the best of other people it jeopardised the efficiency and productivity of the organisation. Without effective teamwork people wouldn’t feel comfortable being creative together if they experienced him as impatient and gruff. But nothing changed, so he was offered an opportunity to have some soft skills training with us.
Diagnosis – what gets in the way of applying soft skill training?
In his own specialist field there was no-one else in the organisation who knew as much as he did or who was as likely as he was to come up with the right answers. This is what he felt he was being paid for – to provide answers that no-one else could provide. His mental self-reliance was an asset. It enabled him to contribute a great deal to the business. But unfortunately he had taken it to such an extreme it had become a dysfunctional habit, so using soft skills with others never crossed his mind. He had become so preoccupied with his own thoughts that he was unable to pay attention to anyone else’s, let alone show them more empathy. This meant that all he was able to do in conversations was say what he was thinking, rather than empathising or paying any attention to what the other person was saying or thinking. Consequently, his conversations were seriously out of balance - they were almost completely one-sided, with no attempt to tune in on other people’s wavelength or offer them any proper attention. Soft skills training was therefore required to help him with his communication.
The obstacle – what needs to change before being able to apply soft skills at work?
He was going to find it very hard to change. There were two serious obstacles. The first was that he was behaving as though there was only one set of thoughts in the world, his own. He had forgotten (if he ever knew it) that other people had thoughts and feelings quite different from his own. And he had forgotten (if he ever knew it) that it is possible to decide to switch the focus of one’s attention from one’s own thoughts to being able to empathise with someone else’s. He exercised no choice in the matter, and never chose to show more interest in anyone else. Whenever he had a thought he had to say it. It never occurred to him that he was free not to say it and instead to park it and try to appreciate what the other person was thinking, showing more attention to them.
The second mental obstacle was time pressure. He was very busy and felt under pressure to give the answers. He believed he had no time to waste considering the thoughts of people who knew much less about the subject under discussion than he did. Consequently, he was impatient and unwilling to slow down to anyone else’s pace.
In spite of these obstacles he accepted that unless he changed his approach he could damage his career, and though he knew it would be very difficult and uncomfortable to change he was keen to try, so was very interested in our soft skills training course.
The remedy - using more soft skills at work.
It’s no use vaguely advising a poor listener to listen better. What he needed was first to be shown how to do it, in other words, precisely how to phrase a listening response. Then he needed to be made to practise showing more empathy instead of his habitual telling response. He then needed to practise it again and again until his discomfort began to subside, and he began to feel at home with a more balanced conversational style. He found this difficult to begin with, but In the months that followed the training he persisted using more soft skills at work and discovered that winning back his colleagues’ confidence in him did more not require a total summersault from him. He didn’t have to do it all the time. It was satisfying enough for them if he listened just some of the time, showing more attention for them, some of the time. A small change in his behaviour made a very big difference to how other perceived him.
It also had a significant in his private life, as using soft skills with those around him made for a totally different atmosphere at home too. His soft skills training was a successful investment.
Testimonials for this soft skills training
Feedback from the managers of participants who took this training
- "He is now aware of his need to control his direct approach. He was sometimes too assertive. I think he is now well balanced in this respect."
- Feedback from participant's boss - a Kimberley-Clark marketing director
- "He has made excellent progress in the management of his team. He has ensured key stakeholders are involved in decision-making and has gone to great lengths to gain commitment and help from his team."
- Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson finance director
FREE exploratory coaching session. Become really good at this. CLICK HERE and get started now
Interested? You could be good at this!
- You can have a FREE exploratory coaching session over the phone or video call.
- It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course.
- You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant for you.
- You don't have to be based in the UK to receive this training. The one-to-one coaching can be extremely effective over video calls.
What will this session do for you?
In this FREE video coaching session a trained expert will aim to;-
- gently explore what you're looking for help with. Learning challenging new skills is much easier when you feel safe, so we like to create an un-pressured atmosphere,
- diagnose your particular training needs,
- answer any questions,
- give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. We'll teach you what to say, and how to say it to achieve the results you want.
How to accept this offer
- Simply ring Alex Gould on +44 (0)1727 847 889 for a preliminary chat and to arrange a session,
- or, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
- or, if you'd like us to contact you please fill out the form below and we'll contact you and to arrange a convenient time for your free exploratory coaching session:-