Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Making the "Soft Skills" pay off in "Hard Results"

I'm speaking today and tomorrow in Minot and Williston, North Dakota to a group of working women at the Winning Women's Workshop, sponsored by the North Dakota Workforce Training organization. My three sessions are "Creating Brand You," "Taking Your Whole Self to Work," and "Know Your Brain." The brain game is based on Ned Herrmann's work on whole brain research.

I was reminded while speaking today of a former employer who once told me that the work I did for his organization was "touchy-feely crap that made him puke" (take special note of the word "former" in that sentence). This is the same person who told me that business has nothing to do with relationships. It was that comment that convinced me I was working in the wrong environment, and just the catalyst I needed to take the leap into my own business.

One thing that I found especially interesting, in doing research for today's workshop - as did the audience today - was an opportunity to diagnose performance success in four different ways, using something as "soft" as people's brain preferences.

According to the article "How to Get More ROI: Return on Intelligence" at the Ned Herrmann website (see people's successful performance can be measured using purpose, process, people, and possibilities. Ideally we all want:

1) Revenue growth/profitability
2) Achieving plans and goals on schedule
3) Employee and customer satisfaction
4) Good long term strategy and innovative/proactive thinking.

Based on the Brain Game, we can identify which people prefer "left-brained" activities like purpose and process, and which people prefer "right-brained" activities like possibilities and people.

According to this article, if you "use your head" as you define success, you will put your whole brain to work and maybe find success and performance in places you didn't even recognize!

Touchy-feely? Maybe to some. But those who choose to pay attention to the "soft stuff" will find the hard results coming their way in the form of purpose, process, possibilities and people. Oh, and ROI.


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