Coach's Corner


What are soft skills exactly? Well, they aren't exact, and they aren't tangible like typing speed. We use hard skills when we put a battery into a cell phone, we use soft skills when we answer the cell phone and begin to talk to a client. There's one way to install a battery, there's many ways to get through a conversation. It's been said that people cannot not communicate, which means we communicate all the time. Communication is the most widely used soft skill, and that's why communication skills are strategic.

Interpersonal communication is one area of communication, but it's often the most troubling because it is personal. We might get irritated by TV or radio talk shows, or bothered by magazine and billboard ads, but because those messages are sent impersonally, they don't sting like negative words from a manager, co-worker, or customer.

I dreamed-up IPC In The Workplace after 20 years in big, medium, and small businesses that were domestic and international, public and private, profit and non-profit. During those years I saw communication succeed and fail in many ways. I dropped out of work for grad school to explore, research, and think about organizational communication, and to find a way to share the lessons I learned on and off the field. In some respects I'm in the health business because good communication nourishes people and companies. However, I'm also in the consultant and coaching business because there are real advantages for people and organizations that communicate well.

© 2011 Charles Fleeman

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