85% Success comes from well-develop soft skills

Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center revealed, “85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills).” 

Unfortunately, many inventors, new hires, supervisors, managers, business owners, and professionals over depend on their technical skills. Accordingly, they neglect to develop their soft skills proactively and in turn pay dire prices.

Success Pathways understands the critical roles soft skills play. We provide soft skill workshops to empower your people attain success in what they do.

The following are some of the soft skills workshops we provide. Our workshops are very interactive and engaging filled with latest insights, practical tools, processes, and methods your people could use in the workplace right away. You may click the links below to read the synopsis and learning objectives of each workshop:

  1. Communication Strategies
  2. Effective Presentation Skills
  3. Turning Conflicts into Opportunities
  4. Negotiate Like a PRO
  5. Promoting Diversity and Embracing Inclusiveness
  6. Essentials of Project Management

If your team needs one or more of these workshops and/or to learn more, please feel free to reach out.

Note: Success Pathways Press will soon publish a reference book that provides insights, stories, and processes to empower readers develop the right attitude, mindset, and soft skills necessary to succeed in what they do. We’ve also designed a program for organizations that would like to empower their people by inviting Success Pathways to their organizations. We will work with you to customize the program to align it with your corporate culture, organizational setting, and the needs of your people. If you’re interested to be notified when the book and the program become available, let’s know.

Emailassegid@successpws.com

Tele: 703-895-4551

Featured Workshops at SPW

The following soft skill workshops are featured at Success Pathways. You may click the links below to read the synopsis and learning objectives of each workshop:

  1. Communication Strategies
  2. Effective Presentation Skills
  3. Turning Conflicts into Opportunities
  4. Negotiate Like a PRO
  5. Promoting Diversity and Embracing Inclusiveness
  6. Essentials of Project Management

If your team needs one or more of these workshops and/or to learn more, please feel free to reach out:

Email: assegid@successpws.com

Tele: 703-895-4551

Change before it is too late

More than we would like to admit, we all resist changes that we don’t:

  • Understand or
  • Like or
  • Believe.

Fairly speaking, there’re no people who are born resisters (change haters). Unfortunately, resisting some changes comes with dire prices.

But, many individuals, communities, and organizations did ‘extinct’ (became irrelevant, bankrupt, etc.), not ONLY just for resisting change, but also for failing to discern change and making the necessary changes ahead of the curve.

Many who paid the steep price for failing to be proactive were not stubborn, contrary to what the majority of us think, they were just reluctant for awhile and slow to respond.

Think of all the giants who did extinct from the face of the earth or those which remained insignificant and irrelevant, they did try their best though too late. They woke up at one point, and desperately tried to catch up with change. By then, it was in vain. That is why the former chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch advised, “Change before you have to.”

In the past, it used to be ‘change or you would remain stagnant’. Now, in the 21st C, the mantra has changed big time: ‘change or die!’

It is a choice each one of us should make:

  • Do we want to be proactive and change before it is too late or
  • Do we risk it and hesitate to face the consequences of our negligence?

We can become friendly with change, project into the future, and make changes before they become mandatory…

If you ever want to empower your people to understand the nature of change, develop the right mindset, skills, overcome resistances, and successfully lead all stakeholders during change, let me know…

 

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Change Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Change Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1491

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Leading Change for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, stories, and models to empower readers develop the right attitude, mindset, and skills necessary to initiate, implement, and sustain change successfully.

Motivating others to achieve extraordinary results

Dwight D. Eisenhower, who motivated and led hundreds of thousands of ally forces during the June 6 1946 The D Day war, believed that “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Throughout his military career as a General and political career that culminated as the 34th President of the US, Eisenhower clearly understood that people are diverse with differing passions, desires, needs, and personality types. Accordingly, he tailored his motivation approaches that inspired his people to do what he wanted them to do gladly and with enthusiasm on a consistent basis.

In 2012, Hollywood’s highest paid star, Leonardo DiCaprio revealed what really motivates him. For many people’s disbelief, he dismissed that winning Oscar isn’t his motivation. He acknowledged, “I don’t think anyone would say that they wouldn’t want one [Oscar]. I think they would be lying.”

You may then ask, “What drives DiCaprio to perform extraordinarily in those roles he has been playing for decades?”

He admitted that he never expected winning Oscar and that is not his motivation when he plays these roles. He shared what motivates him, I really am motivated by being able to work with great people and create a body of work that I can look back and be proud of.”

Like DiCaprio, each member of your team has things that motivate him or her. If you discover what motivates the people that you are leading, you could be able to inspire them to do extraordinary things well beyond what they have already believed they can achieve. Henry Kissinger, the 56th Secretary of State of the US, said: “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” Taking your people to unfamiliar places requires developing extraordinary motivational ability by understanding their sweet spots, things that motivate them.

What has been motivating you to do extra ordinary things in the past? Who is the most motivational leader you have ever known? What are the main characteristics of this motivational figure? Which ones do you have right now? Which ones you need to work on?

If you ever struggle to motivate your people to do extraordinary things, Success Pathways is your best bet. We will work with you to help you tailor your employee motivation and recognition approaches…

 

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Employee Motivation and Recognition workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our workshop on Employee Motivation: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1511, and Employee Recognition: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1514

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Employee Motivation for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides theories, insights, and stories to empower readers to become successful motivators.

Generating and Managing Your Energy on a daily basis…

Realizing for the first time the importance of energy management was a breakthrough for me.

I still remember where I heard about it the first time.

Before that revelation, I had been trying my best to manage my time, which- as we all know, is limited.

We all have equal time regardless of who we are. Whether we are rich or poor, educated or unlearned, tall or short, popular or obscure, time treats all of us equally. We all have 24 hours per day. That is why C. S. Lewis noted, The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

On the other hand, I came to realize that, unlike time, our daily energy is not fixed. We can generate, and manage our daily energy ‘indefinitely’. Accordingly, I immediately identified key sources of energy, came up with a simple and straight forward plan to:

  • Balance and renew my energy,
  • Expand my energy capacity, and
  • Create energy management rituals on a daily basis.

The results? Extraordinary!!! Wondered so many times why I hadn’t known about this earlier 🙂

Once I got some results, I decided to incorporate energy management in our time management workshops.

Now- more than over, I strongly believe that, as Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz wrote, “Learning to manage energy more efficiently and intelligently has a unique transformative power, both individually and organizationally.”

Do you manage your energy on a daily basis? Have you got some successes? Are there challenges? How do you plan to overcome these challenges?

If you (your team) ever struggle to manage time and energy effectively, let me know…

 

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Time Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Time Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1569

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Time Management for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop effective time and energy management attitude, mindset, and skills.

Uncovering Your Blind Spots…

Stephen Covey talked about the four dimensions of self (Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit), and the needs of each dimension.

Among the four dimensions, awareness about our body dimension seems easy, isn’t it?

But it isn’t.

Let me give you a good example. I was reading the autobiography of Jack Welch, the former chairman and CEO of General Electric, “Straight from the Gut” in 2007 or 2008 and stunned when I read one of his blind spots. Jack wrote, “Decades later, when looking at early pictures of me on my sports teams, I was amazed to see that almost always I was the shortest and smallest kid in the picture.”

For decades, Jack was unaware of his physical appearance.

Jack revealed in the aforementioned book why he had a distorted awareness about his physical dimension. His mother pumped him with confidence as he grew up. As a result, he didn’t have any clue about his real physical height and size when he was a kid, during his teen-age years, and in the majority of his adult life. He confessed, “Yet, I never knew it or felt it. Today, I look at those pictures and laugh at what a little shrimp I was. It’s just ridiculous that I wasn’t more conscious of my size”.

I’ve to admit that reading this part of Jack’s autobiography caused a light bulb to go on in my head. I never had a clear sense of my real physical dimension prior to reading that story. In the past, whenever I looked at group pictures, my preoccupation was on how I looked, who was next to me, and so on. I never compared my height or size with my peers. I didn’t know that I was that ‘short’ 🙂

Reading Jack’s hilarious story led me to pay closer attention to my physical dimension. Since then, not only I found myself aware but also began making fun of my height. End of March 2016, for instance, I spoke at a conference about bridging the leadership gaps, and we had a group photo afterward with the rest of the panelists. Guess what?

I was the shortest! I posted the pic on my face-book timeline with this caption; I need this kinds of group pictures to remind me how short I really am.” Many of my face book friends loved the self-deprecating post. I even got so many encouraging words intended to lift my spirit.

  • What about you?
  • Have you had a blind spot concerning your physical dimension?
  • Have you figured it why?
  • If you don’t have one, think about others who have.
  • Why do you think people have these kinds of obvious blind spots?

If there are chances many of us might have been harboring blind spots concerning our physical dimension,

  1. What about those dimensions that may not be that obvious to easily figure out?
  2. What are the prices we’ve been paying for sheltering so many blind spots?
  3. What are your plans to uncover your blind spots?

 

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Increasing Self-awareness workshop. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our self-awareness workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1496

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including self-awareness for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. The above excerpt is taken from the first chapter of his upcoming book, which will be published soon. In this chapter, he provides insights, tools, and processes to increase self-awareness in order to attain self-mastery, and in turn work with others well, and lead others effectively.

Turning Problems into Opportunities

There was a time where I used to pray on a daily basis in order not to have any kind of problem any longer. I felt tired, stuck, and frustrated beyond measure because of the challenges I was facing. Back then, I had a big goal and desperate to make a major career shift. I didn’t know that it was normal to have such a resistance.

Well, finally I realized that, as the saying goes, for every action, there is an equal or even greater opposite force (problem). Not long after that, it occurred to me that in the absence of challenges and problems, my life is actually dull. Since then, I read a lot and finally learned that problems are indications of you’re being alive, and making progress.

At this stage of my life, when I find myself having a free ride without challenges and problems to solve a couple of weeks in a row, I immediately know that either I lowered my expectations (standards), and/or settled for my comfort zone without even knowing it. Nowadays, when I experience red carpet walk in life, it doesn’t take me long to figure out that I stopped growing and advancing.

What about you:

  • How do you (your team) view problems and challenges?
  • Do you hate, resent, and/or avoid challenges and problems at any cost?
  • Or do you embrace problems/challenges, and see them as opportunities than liabilities? Why?

However, having the right mindset and attitude toward challenges and problems is the beginning of a protracted journey. To continually progress and succeed individually and collectively, we need to master problem solving. The challenge is that mastering problem solving (turning problems into opportunities) is a skill that should be developed and refined continually.

In order to tap into our individual and collective potential, pursue our goals, and realize our dreams, we need this life skill. This skill is a competitive advantage wherever you go. People (employers, clients, voters, etc.) desperately look, all the time and everywhere, for people who swim with ‘sharks’ (tough problems) without being eaten alive by ‘the sharks’. They search for people who have the ability to resolve problems and overcome challenges with confidence, grace, and those who deliver results based on sound, wise, and farsighted decisions following the proper steps of problem solving, without violating laws, rules, and without compromising their core values.

From one to ten, one being very poor and ten extraordinary, how do you gauge your (your team’s) problem solving ability? If you scored below 8, you need to work on your mindset, attitude, and problem solving skill.

  • If you’re sick and tired of losing to problems easily;
  • If you’re burned out in cleaning the messes problems cause frequently;
  • If you are stranded more than you should because of unsolved (poorly solved) problems;
  • If your team gets stuck whenever, small or big, problems surface;
  • You need to empower yourself and your team, and I’m here to help.

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Problem Solving and Decision Making workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Creative Problem Solving workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1473

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Problem Solving and Decision Making for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop the right problem solving and decision making attitude, mindset, and skills.

Time: Unmanageable? What to do about it?

Those of us who have tried the rat race to manage time and save as many minutes as we could on a daily basis discovered the bitter truth. This race is not winnable. It’s self-defeating.

Attempting to manage the unmanageable led many of us to experience disenchantment, and even frustration. Our attempt to manage time efficiently resulted a stressful life filled with disappointments and burnouts.

Personally, when I discovered a seemingly simple truth about time management, things started to change. It was a humbling experience when I first realized that I don’t have control over time! Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson were on the mark when they wrote, You don’t manage time at all. You only manage yourself in relation to it.”

What a relief! When I discovered the fact that I only have control over my own resources, and myself alone I began to be in charge and able to manage self and my resources around time better. ‘Managing time’ started to be easier. Don’t misread me. I’m not yet there where I want to be, but at least for now, I have a better handle on time than I used to.

What about you? Are you still on the other side of the fence and racing against time or have you crossed over and moved to the side of time, which is, managing yourself and your resources in relation to time? What has been your experience?

In conclusion, we humans don’t have direct control over time. We only have control over ourselves and other resources. Understanding this simple fact is a huge difference maker in our effort to maximize time, the scantiest resource in the world. Once we master managing time effectively, the rest will be easier. This is because managing other resources is easier compared to managing time. Lastly, don’t forget that until you develop a good handle on effective time management, you are at risk of mismanaging yourself, and other scarce resources. Peter Drucker warned: Unless time is managed, nothing else can be managed.” 

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Time Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Time Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1569

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Time Management for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop effective time management attitude, mindset, and skills.

The Case for Developing Effective Time Management Skills

There are some reasons why many people don’t want to invest their time and resources to develop their time management skills. A few of these individuals think that managing time doesn’t have to be developed. They argue that it’s common sense. What do you think? Is it really common sense and any one can manage their time effectively without putting some efforts to learn best ways such as using some latest tools, processes, techniques, and technologies?

Let’s be humble. We’re not born with mastery of time management. We don’t have the innate ability to manage time effectively. For that matter, we are predisposed to mismanage time. I conquer with Peter Druker- the father of modern management, who admitted, “Man is ill-equipped to manage his time.”

Well, I also met some who are passionate about why they don’t want to develop time management skills. They argue that developing such a skill deprives them from being spontaneous and enjoy the fun that comes when they do things haphazardly. They proudly call themselves ‘Free spirited’. They consider themselves activists who fight for their freedom against the ‘controlling TIME’. They go as far as belittling TIME by saying, “It’s created to serve us, not to become boss over us’.

There are some truths here. Yes, time shouldn’t be allowed to control us but we don’t need to show time who the boss is by winging it as we wish. We can still be our own boss and use time to serve our goals by becoming smarter in using time effectively, and by using it in our favor. The point is: We can still be skillful in managing our time without losing our freedom.

There are others who believe that they perform best when they are under pressure. They proudly call themselves ‘Deadline Junkies’ 🙂 Of course; it is very hard to counter argue with someone’s experience. If they say that they put their acts together and perform well when they are under pressure, well, I would like to trust them. They may perform outstandingly when under pressure.

But, I’m skeptic about whether doing things at the 11th hour is wise even if I’ve the capacity to do so. Yes, I may deliver results just before the deadline. The question is: Can I produce quality results while I’m rushed against time?

Of course, there are others genuinely concerned that they don’t have additional time to spend in order to develop time management skills. It’s understandable. They’re already out of time, and struggling to meet deadlines. How can they spend the time they don’t have with the hope to become better in managing their time in the future?

This reason too is legitimate. Yes, in the short term, you need to put an initial investment by believing that, in the long run and down the road; the return on investment outweighs the time you may put down initially.

What about you? If you’re great in managing time effectively personally, what about your team members and colleagues? From 1 to 10, how do you rate yourself (and your team) when it comes to time management, one being very poor and ten very excellent? If you (or your team) scores less than 7, you need to invest on your time management skills.

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Time Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Time Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1569

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Time Management for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop effective time management attitude, mindset, and skills.

Developing Empathy

We are diverse. Some of us are naturally gifted and have innate gifting and preferences for certain things. We don’t sweat about these things. They’re our second nature.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to develop those things that are not natural to us. This is especially true if you are a professional, business owner, community organizer, politician, you name it. As you work with and lead others, you need to develop certain soft skills for which you may not have home court advantage.

One of those soft skills we need to develop is empathy. Alvin Goldman defined empathy as “The ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person to understand her emotions and feelings.”

If you don’t have empathy naturally, you may ask, why bother? Let me give you a good example that may cause you to think twice.

Abe Lincoln, the 16th President of the US, is known for his extraordinary empathy. In Team of Rivals, his biographer wrote: “He possessed extraordinary empathy- the gift or curse of putting himself in the place of another, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.”

Interestingly, as much as it added sorrow in his life, that the same quality was one of his greatest assets for Lincoln’s success. People who closely witnessed his political career such as Helen Nicolay, whose father would become Lincoln’s private secretary, suggested that that the same attribute, “gave him the power to forecast with uncanny accuracy what his opponents were likely to do.” His biographer also agreed and wrote, “Such capacity to intuit the inward feelings and intentions of others would be manifest throughout his career.”

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Emotional Intelligence workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Emotional Intelligence workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1509

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Emotional Intelligence for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to increase Emotional Intelligence in order to attain self-mastery, and in turn work with others well, and lead others effectively.