Soft Skills Definitions - Definition of Communication and more

What is communication?  After all, the importance of business communication is what normally comes to mind first when we consider soft skill definitions.  A list of soft skills includes more than communication, but good communication skills are typically connected to all areas of soft skills training, such as providing good customer service. 

A definition of communication will include these attributes:

  • It is a process that is continuous in time
  • It is interactive between people
  • Its purpose is to transmit facts, thoughts, ideas, interpretations, desires and emotions

That seems simple enough -- giving and receiving of information.  It is critical -- information is the "life-blood" in organizations.  It is anything but simple.  The successful flow of information is like a perpetual challenge in most organizations, whether large or small. 
In recent leadership surveys, the number one leadership challenge cited by participants was
developing management and people skills in technically-oriented people.  Although many professionals know what needs to be done and how to get the technical job done, many have difficulty communicating this to others and motivating employees in order to achieve the best results.  

As our model illustrates, many things can create communication "gaps."  


Effective interpersonal communication involves a lot more than just the words we use.  When we are face-to-face, nonverbal communication is the source of much of the information transmitted.  In different types of communication, such as in customer service call centers, the non-verbal gives way to more importance in verbal communication -- how we compose our words.  That is even more critical in written communication, including email.   

Effective communication is but one category of soft skills.  As you examine our list of soft skills, you will note that different types of communication, both formal and informal, are an essential part of each category.  If you are interested in techniques for soft skills assessment, we have developed tools to identify gaps.  This can be very useful to help you best direct your investment in soft skills training.   Our professional facilitators and trainers at ATC can guide you in the soft skills assessment, designing the curriculum needed to close the gaps, and in teaching the soft skills that will enable your people to advance their capabilities to serve your customers.

Soft Skills List - with important sub-elements: 

Communication Styles
Leadership Skills
Effective  & Excellent Customer Service
Decision Making & Problem Solving
Managing Time and Pressures
Self-Management & Attitude 
Soft Skills

The term Soft Skills is a broad topic. Below are some sample categories that might be applicable for your team.
1.      Communication

2.      Teamwork

  • Inter-team cooperation
  • Intra-team cooperation
  • Diversity
  • Productivity
  • Goal setting and action 
3.      Leadership Skills
  • Empowerment
  • Planning
  • Confidence in leaders
  • Vision & direction
  • Supervision
  • Coaching and/or mentoring 
  • Communication with the customer, including challenging conversations
  • Setting and resetting customer expectations
  • Delighting the customer
  • Building customer confidence
  • A consistently winning customer experience
  • Growing the customer relationship
  • Opportunity management
  • A Team approach to meeting the customer’s needs  
5.      Decision Making & Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Team problem solving 
6.      Managing Time and Pressures
  • Change
  • Time management
  • Effective meetings 
 7.      Self Management & Attitude
  • Stress management
  • Positive attitude and influence
  • Initiative
  • Concern and compassion for others




  “ATC helped us to hone our skills and processes by designing several customized courses that integrated our “real-work” documents and issues into the delivery of the training."
---Technical Account Manager, Computer Technology Company


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