Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Top Five Soft Skills Necessary For The HR Professional

I was interviewed the other day as an HR "expert." Naturally I was flattered. I am a sucker for an ego play. They wanted to talk about what it is like to be in HR and what does it take to get there. There were a number of questions, and I will have the podcast published later. I talked for almost 45 minutes on a variety of questions, but the one I wanted to write about today is the area of "soft skills" that are needed to be a great HR professional. Here is my list. After you have read them please add your own suggestions.

  1. The ability to speak in front of a crowd is a key skill. In fact this skill can probably do more for you career than almost any other. To be able to make a presentation or speech with confidence and minus all the "ums" and "likes" and "ers" will set you heads above the others around you. It is well worth time, money and effort to learn how to do it well. Even the ones who are good at it realize that time needs to be put into the craft of making a good presentation. So get yourself to a Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie or some other professional coach and learn how to do this well.
  2. The ability to "read" people is another key skill. Most of us who have been around have developed an ability to read people. We acquire the ability to sense if someone is lying to us or trying to hoodwink us. We have a feel for "body language" and what it may be telling us about attitudes. This, however, is something we can all get better at with training. You can learn to notice and understand some universal expressions, postures and micro-expressions that reveal subtleties about an individual that will then allow you to better understand how to deal with them.
  3. The ability to have a "backbone" and not be intimidated is a key trait. Too often HR professionals are seen as being weak because they back down when intimidated by a controlling manager or executive. A "backbone" comes from the strength of your convictions and the strength of your knowledge of your "craft." The more knowledgeable you are the more confident you will be in your encounters with managers. With that knowledge comes strength. Although age plays a factor it is not sufficient. I have known my fair share of weak HR managers who have been well into their 50s.
  4. Empathy is the fourth soft skill I consider key to being an HR professional. Without the ability to see another point of view or to understand the nuances of a situation you will be robbed of the ability to make the appropriate decisions at the appropriate time.
  5. The skill that I consider the last of my list is "listening." You must have the ability to put aside you agenda and to listen and "hear" what someone is saying and how they are saying it. You must be able to make the person understand that you have heard what they are trying to say in addition. Generally this requires a focused mind and a disengaged mouth.

Being in HR and doing it well is a tough job. To be a true HR Professional you must have the foresight of Nostradamus, the vision of Issac Asimov, the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of David, the speaking ability of Cicero and the brashness of Theodore Roosevelt. Piece of cake!

Thanks to Michael Haberman / Omega HR Solutions, Inc.
http://omegahrsolutions.com/2011/11/the-top-five-soft-skills-necessary-for-the-hr-professional.html

 
 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

10 Sales Competencies Of Steve Jobs

I read the Steve Jobs biography and although he was a very talented designer, innovator and inventor, it was clear to everyone who worked with him, and even to Jobs himself at the end of his life, that he was an asshole.  A simply horrible human being. Despite his miserable people skills, he was on a mission to design products that would change the world.  But Steve was also a great salesperson and this article discusses ten of the things about Steve Jobs the salesperson that you might want your salespeople to emulate.

Preparation - It is well known that Steve obsessed over the most minute details of product design to assure a tremendous user experience.  But he prepared just as much for sales calls, like convincing Bill Gates of Microsoft to create Word and Excel for the first Mac.

Determination - Jobs probably didn't receive any formal sales training, but he was so determined to get his way, make the sale and seal the deal that he nearly always found a way.  He did not consider the possibility that he could fail.

Slide Decks - He didn't like people who hid behind their PowerPoint slides and he did not use more than a few himself.  He believed that if you knew your stuff you didn't need PowerPoint.  He preferred to have discussions rather than slide shows.  Amen to that!

Charm - Knowing that Jobs regularly treated people so badly makes it even more incredible that he could turn on the charm when he wanted something or someone to do business with him.  Although he seemed to have no empathy for the feelings of others, he was aware of the need to develop relationships in order to sell.

Negotiation - Steve usually cut very profitable deals because he was consistently successful at getting others to want what he had, and then was not only willing to walk, but did walk until he got his way.  There is a great story in the book about when he sold Pixar to Disney for something like 7 or 8 Billion dollars.

Building Value - Jobs was a master at building value.  He would talk about the individual components or features of a device, what they would sell for if available on their own, to demonstrate the tremendous value of the device itself.

Understanding - He always knew what was important - their compelling reason to buy - to his prospect and was able to leverage it, and get people excited about the opportunity to work with him.

Creating Trust - Jobs got people to believe in him and his vision.  Even when biased against Jobs, after they met him, talked with him and became caught in his trance, they wanted to do business with him.

Fearless - Steve would not hesitate to call anyone, anywhere, at any time to ask for what he wanted.  And he was persistent - he didn't give up and would get others to help him connect if he couldn't get connected on his own.

Showmanship - While he was a master of all the competencies listed above, he was perhaps best known for, and best at showmanship.  His Macworld appearances were sales showmanship at its best.  The book detailed some of those presentations along with the secrecy, preparation, practice, timing, theater and attention to detail that helped to enhance his mystique and allow him to sell millions of devices from the podium.

What can you learn from the salesperson Steve Jobs?

Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and highly regarded sales development expert.

Thanks to Dave Kurlan / Omg Hub / Dave Kurlan
http://www.omghub.com/SalesDevelopmentBlog/tabid/5809/bid/88486/10-sales-competencies-of-steve-jobs?source=Blog_Email_[10%20Sales%20Competencie]