Scaling Soft Skills - Challenges And Solutions

In the immediate future, what gives humans an edge over the automata and machines that can perform our tasks is soft skills. Due to their intangible nature, soft skills are extremely hard for machines to learn, thereby giving humans the advantage. Further, a study from Harvard University shows that soft skills training results in a 250 percent ROI for organizations.

In other words, scaling soft skill is more than just a fancy idea for organizations to thrive in the future.

While many employees in organizations may be good or even great in soft skills, it’s an observable fact that not all of them are.

However, it’s not easy to scale soft skills. There are three critical challenges in this.

But the good news is, all challenges exist to be tackled and these three are no exceptions. The challenges and their solutions follow.

Soft skills help bring a community-like cohesiveness to a team, helping them function better

Stagnant learning

The school is where we gain our formal education throughout our formative years. Nothing wrong with that except that the mode of instructions in most schools still follow the techniques laid out during the industrial revolution.

Back in the day, the objective of school education was to help people- so far engaged in agriculture labors- upskill themselves so they can be productive in factories. Sitting for long hours in classrooms- a discipline that comes in handy manning factory assembly lines, and rote learning thus became the norm.

In the process, what get lost are crucial faculties like the ability for critical thinking and creativity. Even though the world has changed dramatically in the ensuing years, and aspects like creative thinking are ever-more important in business and personal life, the process of education remains much the same.

The problem gets compounded by the fact that the mode of rote learning etc. gets embedded in our mentality- even shaping it possibly for the rest of our lives.

But the beauty of the human mind is that it’s tremendously mouldable. What’s learned can be unlearned and new skills and approach to thinking could be developed provided we have the right tools to do that.

Influence Maps is one such tool developed by Temenos+Agility.

Used in Temenos Vision Lab(more of which in the following sections), Influence Maps helps you map your various influences- both external and internal- which shaped your thought processes and decision making abilities. By getting a broader picture of these elements, you could see which influences work in your favor and which do not.

Based on these insights, you could form a personal narrative for future progress- one that enlists the best of influences while eschewing the rest, enabling you to set your priorities and learn appropriate skills.

More than that, it helps you gain an empathetic view of yourself and also your team members, thereby bolstering better interactions with the others, leading to a more productive work environment.

Over-reliance on technology becoming a mental block

Technology is ubiquitous and nowhere is this truer than in our homes and workplaces. So much so that many days, we interact more with gadgets than with real people.

The constant compulsion to check our social feed or the commanding ways in which we speak with devices like Alexa could have a derogatory effect in how we interact with others. It’s no stretch to say that if we were to speak to other like how we command our personal assistant devices, we would fast find ourselves short of friends.

In other words, the skill of empathy could get depleted if our interactions with technology surpass our real-life interactions with people. The curious fact is that such a handicap in empathy may go unnoticed by us, because the behavior which underlies the problem may quickly become deeply entrenched in our psyche.

To assess whether the problem exists in ourselves and to see if that’s pulling us back from evolving would take some deep self-reflection and more. The Clean Slate session which forms a part of Temenos Vision Lab(TVL) is an ideal solution for this.

Designed specifically to help change agents weed out negativities that block their further evolution, some of he best leadership coaches help you cleanse yourself of negative behavioral traits in the session.

It’s the human element- influenced by family, community and the workplace which underlies soft skills

Hectic workplace born from lack of vision

The hippocampus is the part of the brain’s limbic system linked to emotion. When you are stressed out, the functioning of the hippocampus gets severely hampered, often preventing you from being empathetic or understanding a context fully.

This means that stress- workplace related or personal- could disrupt soft skills development.

In workplaces, a stressful environment is often the result of poorly designed processes. Such processes, in turn are often born from the blind pursuit of higher productivity without a clear vision. (Note that a higher target- in terms of money or other gains- by itself doesn’t constitute a vision.)

Leaders who pursue their True Personal Vision are better poised to design processes which aren’t all about more productivity. For such a vision demands a systematic approach to work, and since the leaders are emotionally invested in realizing that vision, they are least likely to block the organization’s progress towards the same. Rote productivity almost always fails to help them realize that vision. Meaning, better designed processes that help the team members function without being stressed out.

Another element that helps team members be less stressed out is the Compelling Shared Vision.

This is the vision that the team shares, and in which they are also emotionally invested. And when you are inching closer to that vision, the emotional element helps ease the stress.

Both True Personal Vision and Compelling Shared Vision are to be found within an individual or from among a team. However, due to distractions that blind the soul, it may be hard to make that discovery.

Temenos Vision Lab is developed by Temenos+Agility to help change agents discover their True Personal Vision and teams their Compelling Shared Vision. Based on 25 years of business consultancy and psychological insights, change agents from around the world have benefited from TVL.

We invite you to this special gathering, which brings together a group of wonderful people who fill workplaces with joy and energy. By connecting with each other, you embark on a journey that leads to better clarity about the changes you seek, gain collaboration opportunities and leave with a concrete action plan.

Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Dec 29, 2018)

An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.

For more details, visit our website:

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