Softskills Training is a Worthwhile Investment

Monday, August 1 2016

Grow Your PeopleIn my first sales position I received strong product education, and was told to ask basic questions; but the nuances of selling were never explained. It wasn’t until a year later that I had sales training. After completing that training I called on a particularly difficult account and used my newly acquired techniques. When the buyer said ‘yes” I was shocked. What I had done worked and I made a great sale that day. That experience helped me to realize the value of training. If that training had been provided earlier I might have had far greater results in my first year.

Most companies provide product knowledge and process training as part of onboarding. They understand that an individual cannot perform their job functions without that basic training. What is often missing (and can be the first thing to go during difficult economic times) is the soft skills – behavioural training. This includes leadership skills, coaching, and sales training, skills that when applied can dramatically increase results for an organization.

I focus my coaching career on leadership. Too often people are put into a leadership or supervisory role without the training and knowledge about how to be a good leader. I certainly experienced that in my first leadership position. I had hired a new assistant who was fantastic, learned quickly, but like all of us needed support and guidance. I was really busy in my job and every time she asked for help I saw it as a negative interruption. Although I responded with the answers she sought, I know my body language was not good. I didn’t sit down with her regularly to provide feedback and help her feel valued. No coaching happened. I was blind-sided when she quit after six months. I had no idea how she felt.

If I had had good training about how to create a motivational environment, communicate effectively, coach for success, celebrate achievements, and the myriad of other critical leadership skills, I doubt she would have left. Since that day I have studied leadership to develop my skills and I am blessed through Results-Centred Leadership © to be able to share my experience and learnings with others.

Training is a worthwhile investment.  Developing people will make a difference to the future of an organization. It can strengthen morale, productivity, innovation, retention, attraction of great people, problem-solving, succession planning, and accountability. It creates loyalty. When your organization embraces soft skills training it can change a culture. Invest in people.