Tag Archives: soft skills

Critical people skills you need to succeed at work

People Skills


What qualities are required for a particular job or vital to lead a team? Do you think you have the technical skills and experience to receive a promotion? Even-though you might have extensive experience and highly developed technical skills, it is imperative to have good soft skills also known as people skills to succeed at work.

People skills are those attributes and competencies that individuals have to get along with others. One might think of it as having a good personality or being likable amongst your peers. But more often than not, these attributes come in the form of effective, accurate and persuasive communication. People skills can be defined as the the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business.

Here are 20 “people skills” and attributes you’ll need to succeed at work:

  • The ability to relate to others
  • Strong communication skills
  • Patience with others
  • The ability to trust others
  • Knowing how and when to show empathy
  • Active listening skills
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Flexibility
  • Good judgment
  • The ability to persuade others
  • Good negotiation skills
  • The ability to keep an open mind
  • A great sense of humor
  • Knowing your audience
  • Honesty
  • Awareness of body language
  • Proactive problem solving
  • Leadership skills
  • Good manners
  • The ability to be supportive and motivate others

Measuring ROI on Soft Skills Training

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One of the most frequent questions we’re asked by training managers is, “How do I measure the return on investment from training?”

On the face of it measuring the return on investment from soft skills training seems like a near-impossible task. After all, how do you quantify the financial benefits of more assertive behavior, better listening skills or negotiating tactics?

You might think that simply looking at an individual’s overall performance after the training is a good indication of whether or not it was effective, but then what exactly about the training was effective? Where exactly has the individual improved and how can this be given a value in rands and cents?

To measure the return on investment from soft skills training you need to be very specific about why you are training, what you hope to achieve at the training and understand how this relates to productivity and sales in your organisation.

You may have identified a trend whereby the sales department is outsourcing work when customers request services you do not offer, instead of trying to sell the client to an alternative that you do offer, and can possibly customise.

This lost revenue CAN be measured and its decrease can be directly attributed to a more assertive sales team.

Alternatively, a company may identify a problem whereby an individual or team is having to repeat or re-attend 15% of their work because the instructions from the client are not being followed properly (e.g. the menu at the top of the website is supposed to be turquoise, not blue, and the large graphic should be on the right and not the left of the screen), costing the company in wasted time.

With this specific problem identified a training manager could send this individual or team on a Customer Care Training workshop where active listening is covered, and immediately begin to measure the return based on a drop in repeat work.

Understanding the reasons that you are training is the first step in being able to measure the monetary return from any training course.

Even when training for what we consider to be the wrong reasons (and unfortunately sometimes the most common reasons for training), such as for BEE points, the return on investment can easily be measured.

If the reason you need your BEE points is so that you can qualify to offer your services to governmental departments and large corporates (or to improve your BEE rating and move onto a higher level), the return on investment from the training will show on your balance sheets.

However, as you may already be able to see, the more areas you focus on measuring improvement in, the more you will start to see how it all relates to financial gain.

Consider that, generally speaking, training your staff has the effect of reducing psychosomatic illness, stress and the ‘victim stance’ among employees, as well as increasing motivation and loyalty to the company, all of which contribute to lower absenteeism rates overall (also measurable financially).

Training also leads to reduced turnover of staff, decreasing the costs of recruitment as well as initial training.

And on and on it goes…

However. A word of warning.

We need to remember that it’s not just a numbers game – our human assets, or employees, are our most important assets and return on investment should not be the only factor taken into consideration when training. One should also look at broader aspects such as impact on community, creative license and 3rd party perceptions.  These last issues being just a few of those that should be taken into account in a well thought out ethical decision.

By Staff Training, a South African soft skills training company.



Why mastering Soft Skills is essential for your professional success

1. Certification is simply not an end in itself. Along with certification, soft skills are important: To succeed and progress in any field, it is essential to possess a firm foundation and know-how. In addition to the industry demanding that you fortify oneself on a continuous basis with up-to-date information and ideas. There are numerous ways and opportunities available to continue your education including training, certification, the Internet, books. But never forget or disregard your soft skills? Certification and academics are not an ends in themselves.

It is advisable to develop and continually improve soft skills to generate opportunity. Exactly what is the use of other skills if nobody knows you possess such skills?



2. With improved soft skills you are guaranteed to further improve your career chances and opportunities. There are numerous way one can enhance your soft skills and in turn advance professional career. In order to bring value to organization and clients, industries are increasingly becoming more involved in several activities to execute their tasks. In order to deliver top results, one must focus on interpersonal skills with colleagues and people you have to work alongside and with. For example, as project manager, exactly how do you motivate fellow members of your team? You may be required to function and have interaction with human resources management and customer service staff in order to develop new business software and processes. In other words it is not just how much knowledge you have but how well you are able to communicate the message and interact with other people.

Regardless of how “good” you believe you are you will not succeed if you’re unable to communicate with colleagues or clients. In reality, the perception could possibly be that you’re not competent. However when you interact significantly better with the people you work with, your performance has a tendency to improve and in addition they leave with a positive impression.


3. Soft skills empower you and create opportunities in each and every element of life: The primary advantage of soft skills is empowerment. Pay close attention to precisely how does your professional skill translate into value. Just how do you create opportunity? Soft skills are beneficial for generating and utilizing opportunities – jobs, career and business. Irrespective of how good your technical or “on-the-job” skills happen to be, when it comes to looking for a job, your marketing skills ought to be first-class. Otherwise other people who may perhaps not be as capable as you, but have superior marketing skills could possibly beat you to the jobs or work you desire. There are always opportunities in any industry. However you can also find challenges and competition. Given the competitive environment today, perception frequently rules.

Should your professional expertise be comparable to those of other candidates then just how do you differentiate yourself? Your certifications and prior work experience are essential but just how are you able to persuade the interviewer or clients that you’re going to resolve their problems and provide value?



4. Soft skills not only enhance your career, in addition, they provide you with personal growth. Enhancing your soft skills also empowers you because they build overall flexibility into your future career plans. The majority of soft skills are considered to be transferable skills, e.g. communication, project management, business and team work, which happen to be necessary for virtually all aspects of life, not simply for your career alone. It is advisable to grow not simply as a professional but additionally as a person.


Global Learning Services

Global Learning Services, providers of legislated & skills training live by the ethos, individual performance enhancement in every sphere of training, maximizing the potential of every employee, reducing the risk of injury and damage to property.

GLS has an all too clear understanding of the consequences of operating outside of the legally mandated requirements when recruiting personnel, our clients have benefited from both our Risk Division’s attention to detail and cost and the resultant training by our Training Division.

They are the experts in the field of training and development, as well as being placed in the opportune position of risk assessment. Their teams of well-trained instructors engage the delegates on a level that they are comfortable, discussing the everyday scenarios and putting our invaluable training into context, which makes for better retention of the knowledge we impart.

Their training is based on the corner stone of good governance in accordance with our accreditation requirements as well as a healthy respect for the Health & Safety Act.

All training material is compiled using a modular competency system in line with the NQF, ensuring that effective training is implemented.
Accredited by:

Services Seta: Accreditation number 0761
Transport Seta: Secondary Accreditation, Teta Accreditation number 08-139
Department of Labour: Accreditation number CI 373 – First Aid Level 1, 2, 3. : Accreditation number 289 – Lifting Equipment (Forklifts, Cranes)

They do on site training for our clients and we do training at our training centres.

BB-BEE Policy

Global Learning Services is committed to broad-based black economic empowerment.We are a level 4 micro enterprise contributor.
Training Courses they present:

Dangerous Goods Training
Fire Fighting Training
Miscellaneous Training
Soft Skills Training
Driver Training
First Aid Training
Safety Training
Lifting Equipment Training

They also have branches in Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Klerksdorp, Cape Town


Staff Training

You can send individuals or train your entire staff complement at once. They have regular training venues in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Limpopo and as from May 2009 Durban! Their trainers will however travel nationally to accommodate your needs. With approximately 20 soft skill workshops to choose from, Staff Training is able to assist you with most of your desired outcomes ranging from management training to frontline/reception. They pride themselves on keeping it real. Tell them your specific challenges and together they will find a solution for you.

Promoting Efficiency through investing in people (IIP), personal responsibility and improved communication skills

With South Africa definitely in a recession, 2009 is proving to be quite challenging for some. Sales people are demotivated, managers are stressed and tension is running high. The situation needs to be managed in order to provide support and knowledge enabling and empowering us all to move forward. The temptation and opportunities for staff to resent the pressure and for teams to passively (or actively) obstruct the company efforts and initiatives are huge. Friends are being retrenched, sales people are being dismissed, warnings are rife and management is changing. Do not get caught napping! NOW is the time motivate and empower your managers and teams.

Our Promoting Efficiency seminars are being hosted as inhouse as well as at the open hosted venues.


  • Putting the economy into perspective
  • Understanding the different personality types in a team
  • Team and departmental communication
  • Understanding generation X,Y and the Baby Boomers
  • Setting and applying continual goals and motivation
  • Differentiating between urgent and important
  • Accountability as a part of our future


Staff Training was started by Debbie Engelbrecht in 2000.  Her vision to keep it real and help real South Africans find real solutions to real problems.  This hasn’t stopped her making them smile though!!  Her main aim in life being to spread cheer , motivation and knowledge.