My good friend Dermot Fitzpatrick had me as a guest on his Biz Buzz show this afternoon on our local community radio. It was a hoot! 90 minutes of your life just disappears in a flash…and as soon as it’s over, we are out of there and locking the door behind us.
Dermot made it very easy, by asking all the right open questions (we had met up before hand, of course). The hardest question was really around soft skills. “Can you define them?” Says Dermot. It’s actually easier to define what they are not – they are not the hard skills of analysis, data handling, strategy negotiation or whatever. They are much more to do with people – hence it feels a bit fluffy! It’s all a bit group hug if you let it be. But we wanted to make the case for it. I mentioned a recent CIPD piece of research on making the business case for soft skills. And one of their conclusions was that the hard skills can only work well backed with the soft skills.
I also decided one of the underpinning skills of all soft skills was listening – and active listening at that. Actually being there in the moment with the person talking, and not thinking what you are going to say next, or taking a sneaky peaky at your watch! I said your brain can work fast enough when the other person stops – just don’t worry. So maybe this weeks top soft skill is listening…and isn’t that appropriate as we were on radio?
We talked about emotional involvement, and why is work different from our life outside I don’t really understand the phrase ‘work life balance’. I do understand the problem of presenteeism and people who are workaholics. But if you are in a job that you can feel some involvement and some passion for – it really doesn’t feel like working.
And that’s as it ended – I talked about my Dad (Ray), and how his influence had made me so positive about actually being able to do things. And about making sure you tell people you like what they do, or even love what they do. Why not? Why can’t we bring some real life into work? Try it!
Dermot played out with Mike and The Mechanics ‘Living Years’. He did this in memory of my dad. Listen to it again – and think how to apply that in all your life, work and play.