5 soft skills for influencing business people

In the last chapter we discussed the overcoming of the influence deficit, and this continuation into this chapter we are talking about the 5 soft skills that it takes to influence business people. What exactly is a soft skill… a soft skill is a personal attribute that enables someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. There are three listed examples of what having soft skills are, the first is soft skills mean having manners and how you hold yourself in public, next soft skills are the character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people, and last soft skills are basically social skills, sometimes known as people skills or interpersonal skills. Having soft skills are important because they fall into influence skill category. In the previous chapter we talked about IT leaders lacking influence in their organizations because they often misunderstand what influence is. The main thing that was talked about was being able to move people to change what they feel, think and believe. For example you should use your soft skills when going in for a job interview, having manners and being respectful.

Even though the book list definitions of a soft skill, some geeks still fail to meet the standards of clarity that they¬†expect and demand. The obvious opposite of soft skills are hard skills. Hard skills are the technical skills that you need to get your job done, in depth they are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as typing, writing, math, reading and the ability to use software programs. Hard skills are for producing work and soft skills are for effecting other people’s experience of working with you so that you can produce work. The reason that soft skills fall into the influence category is because soft skills are what you use to influence other people’s experience. To understand the soft skills that are essential for influence you have to think carefully about what technical leader’s produce. When technical leader’s are successful their projects are successful. Going into the main point of the chapter, what exactly are the five soft skills they are to 1.listen for what is important to people, 2. describe a rosy future, 3. expose your desire, 4. express commitment, 5. translate facts into stories. So now what exactly do each of these mean.. the first is listen for what’s important to people, that means when you do this trait you are listening and trying to understand not just what they tell you but really is important to them and what really matters to them about the situation. This is listed as one of the most important skills of influence because in order to change how someone feels internally you have to understand where they are coming from. Skill number 2 is describe a rosy future.. now I know for a fact I am not quite sure what this means but as described it is the appeal to both people’s sense of reason and emotion. Skill number 3 is expose your desire, this is about yourself, and your inner state and telling others what you think is important for you. Skill number 4 is translate facts into stories meaning, facts are not enough, storytelling is universal. I agree with this skill because if someone is telling me to do something (good obviously), and what they are telling me has nothing but facts, it is going to influence me to do well with whatever the situation is. And last but not least skill number 5, restore trust. Having trust is something that we have touched on previously, having trust is one of the most important skills someone can have. With restoring trust you have to have facts as well, be prepared for anything and ect…

In conclusion these 5 skills for influencing business people are very important, they are a list of things that you have to do such as having soft skills and knowing the difference between that and hard skills. Listening is the key word and most important factor of this whole lesson. You have to listen for what they say, what they don’t say and what they don’t know how to say. If you notice each of those, you have the ability to influence and help people.


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