In graduate business school, people skills are referred to as soft skills – and as a general rule, this is thought to be inferior to hard skills that enable us to boost the bottom line and increase the company’s profit.
Graduate school may provide tools to their students on interpersonal skills, such as active listening. However, how many are teaching real reflection, for example, reflection on how our background affects our worldview and our interactions with others at work? This kind of introspection is crucial when working with alternative mindsets, yet it is a skill that is rarely taught.
After graduation, business students interact with a workplace overloaded with a mindset of conformity and non-authenticity. After time, people conclude that not rocking the boat and avoiding any expression of frustration, is the way to get by and climb the ladder.
Our desire for immediate results in our expectation of perfection and our association of punishment with accountability are part of that unhelpful cultural environment. We encourage people to adopt a new mindset; seeking feedback and prioritizing authenticity will lead to better management.
Humans are not excellent by nature. Often, the workplace environment does not allow people to admit imperfection or weakness. To identify areas of opportunity we must seek the “I do not know” answer. In the corporate world, it is widespread to express our opinion by saying “We need to do this”, instead try “Let me tell you how I see it.” Using the first person pronoun encourages authenticity, helps detect problems, and transforms relationships within the company.
The workplace environment becomes better when communication is authentic. People need to know where we are genuinely coming from. This is the best way to spot any problems immediately and cultivate a happier workplace.
Raise awareness amongst our peers and strive for authentic communication practices. Interact regularly with shared trust, and we will rapidly discover how much positive impact we can produce in many aspects of the business, including the company’s bottom line.