Survival of the Softest... I mean Soft Skills

We’re not referring to the softest person, physically, or the most gentle. Here we’re referring to the ability to survive in changing times, whether local, or global. Times when companies constantly reorganize to look for indicators of high growth areas, and low performing areas. The uncertainty of the workplace that doesn’t guarantee you a job in a year’s time. The uncertainty of what mother nature will do next. The uncertainty being projected through variousmedia. I'm here to tell you that everything's OK, but if you're still concerned, please read on.

In the corporate world, uncertainty is one of the top concerns. It's hard enough aligning business strategies but how do you keep staff focused while delivering changing messages? How do you keep people centered and positive in times of turbulence? How do you build integrity? One thing is certain: uncertainty never goes away, if we keep feeding it.

However, we do know that exceptional employees handle uncertainty very well. Why? Because they rely on simple emotional intelligence skills every day. We all have the ability to learn these soft skills that can befriend uncertainty. In fact, soft skills can befriend just about anything! Whether you call it Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, or just being a well-grounded person, we can all learn to grow in any moments of high tension. Try the following:

  1. Firstly, be patient with the process of change. The number one comment I receive when delivering soft skills workshops is that soft skills, emotional intelligence, EQ take too long to build. This is why we let go of the concept of time. There is no "set" time for building soft skills as long as you keep taking forward steps. Different people develop at different speeds. Don't focus on speed or you will lose all of learning's wondrous beauty. Bruce Lee also puts this nicely.
  2. In high-tension moments, recognize your body’s reactions. Your body reacts to tension (good or bad) before your mind realizes it. If you look for your body’s reaction, you can immediately recognize it’s a pause flag. These are things like an increasing heartbeat, shortness of breath. Then proceed to the following step.
  3. Step out of the ring. Whether you step out of the ring or step into your “wonder place”, this is the perfect opportunity to take 3 long deep breaths and focus on each incoming and outgoing breath (even focusing on one breath will help). This will detach your body and your immediate emotional response to the tension and give you space to be grounded before your rush your response.
  4. Go ahead and decide your next action. Chances are if you take positive action, it will result in a positive outcome and it might even save you from losing your job one day (if it does, please let me know – you owe me a coffee :)).

Remember, uncertainty (if you choose to) can be just another one of those fears that give you a choice between wanting to step-up and continue growing by choosing a course of positive action; or it can be one of those things that simply keeps coming back at you as a tormenting pain in the....neck. Again, you can choose fear by constantly running away from it, or you can choose to befriend it, grow, and keep arming yourself by building your character.

Keep growing my friends, and don’t stop - it’s the best form of survival in turbulent times!

Gab Ciminelli

Gabriele Ciminelli