Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success

Research shows that soft skills play the lion’s share of success than technical skills. Sadly, many professionals over depend on their expertise. And thus, neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices individually and cause havoc in their organizations. Common complaints such as high turnover, conflict, lack of synergy, and low levels of productivity in many of today’s organizations come down to lack of certain soft skills.

This book is based on the story of a successful professional, Dan Murphy who works for a multinational research organization- Global Health Research (GHR). Dan was promoted to lead a multimillion dollar project because of his superb technical skills as a researcher. Unfortunately, due to lack of certain soft skills, problems started to surface. He couldn’t get along with his peers and lead his team members.

After several attempts to help, verbal warnings, and then a written one for his file, his immediate boss- Susan Jeffrey, decided to remove him from leading the project. However, since Dan was one of the superstar researchers at GHR, this caused havoc and forced the CEO- Paul Gray, to intervene. Finally, Paul negotiated a deal, which required Dan to attend a three-part Soft Skills Development program and to work with a mentor to continue leading the project.

The book narrates how the problem began, the negotiations, and the main discussion points from the mentoring sessions. The first section of the book covers the discussions among Dan, Susan, and Paul. Introductions of the remaining three parts (Mastering Self, Getting Along, and Leading Others) narrate the talks between the trainer and attendees of the program. The 12 chapters recount Dan’s one-on-one mentoring sessions with his mentor- Rafael Arthur.


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The main discussion points of each mentoring session include:

  1. Four key lessons he learned;
  2. Some of the assessments, processes, models, and tools he found helpful; and
  3. Immediate actions he plans to take as a result of attending that particular workshop.

The story of GHR and its staff in this book is fictional but realistic. GHR and its employees serve as an illustration of common challenges many companies around the world may face because of lack of certain soft skills. As a former researcher and workshop facilitator for scientific and research organizations, the examples are based on my experiences though the identifying details have been changed.

The program Dan attended is composed of 12 interactive workshops necessary to master self, get along with, and lead others. These 12 soft skills are industry and culture neutral. In whichever industry and country you may belong, they empower you to achieve extraordinary success in your personal life, career, and business.

Speaking of extraordinary success, by default, we all strive to succeed. It’s within our DNA. By hook or by crook, every one of us goes the extra mile to succeed- to achieve more, and to go to the next level. We all, individually and collectively, have a desire to succeed.

Of course, success is subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder. What you consider a success may not be recognized as a success by someone else, and vice versa.

To achieve the success that you’re pursuing, you need personal mastery; you need to get along with and lead others successfully. And, this book contains great insights, tools, and processes that empower you to develop the 12 soft skills that make or break your success in life, career, and/or business.

Outline of the book:


Lack of soft skills wreaking havoc at GHR

  1. The genesis of the problem
  2. The CEO intervened to rescue one of his superstars
  3. Negotiation to break the deadlock
  4. Soft skills development program to tackle the problem

Part I: Mastering Self

Soft Skill 1: Increasing self-  awareness

Soft Skill 2: Regulating Emotions

Soft Skill 3: Managing time and energy effectively

Soft Skill 4: Solving Problems & Making Right Decisions

Part II: Getting Along with Others

Soft Skill 5: Playing Teamwork

Soft Skill 6: Communicating Effectively

Soft Skill 7: Promoting Diversity & Embracing Inclusiveness

Soft Skill 8: Turning Conflicts into Opportunities

Part III: Leading Others

Soft Skill 9: Motivating

Soft Skill 10: Coaching and Mentoring

Soft Skill 11: Negotiating

Soft Skill 12: Leading Change


End Notes

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