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MERIDITH ELLIOT POWELL

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Soft Skills Produce Hard Bottom Line Results MERIDITH ELLIOTT POWELL

es, it is true, I am a fan, a believer, a devotee of the soft skills. If it were up to me, we would update school curriculums to include the art of speaking, the skill of writing, and the science of how to engage and really connect with people. Again, if it were up to me, organizations and

It makes what we sell or offer a commodity, but how we sell or offer it, that is now our competitive advantage. companies would have at least one-half of their learning and development budgets set aside for leadership, networking, building relationships, communication courses, and hands-on training. The result, I believe, would be less stress, more engaged students and employees, and most importantly hard, tangible and positive bottom-line results. Why am I such a fan of the soft skills? Well, there are a number of reasons; I mean who doesn’t enjoy working and engaging with someone who understands how to hold a two-way conversation, 4 | ENTREPRENEUR PLATFORM MAGAZINE | November/December 2019

or reading a well-written article, or working for a leader who really understand how to listen, engage and develop people? But, if I had to keep my answer short and simple, I would say I am a fan because I believe the soft skills are the fastest route in this economy to profitability. In fact, in today’s world I believe that soft skills are the only real competitive advantage that we have. These are very different economic times. This is not an economy that is up, not an economy that is down, it is an economy that is different, radically changed and it is never, I mean never going back to the way that it was. Think about it; with globalization, advancements in technology, increased competition, we could all sit around in our underwear for weeks on end and google until our hearts are content, and have everything we want, need and desire delivered right to our front doors – everything. We have become the kinds and queens of Amazon Prime. We can order food, products, services; we can meet new people, date, make friends, attend events all online. We can do almost anything we want without ever talking to or speaking with another individual, without ever having to leave the comfort of our own home. That fact right there changes everything! It makes what we sell or offer a commodity, but how we sell or offer it, that is now our competitive advantage. And how we offer it –

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