How to help someone catch up on the soft skills he should have picked up growing up?
April 22, 2012 10:17 AM Subscribe
What can help someone learn the 'soft skills' of successful employment? I have a friend who is constantly putting up barriers to his own success, and i think that it might just be a matter of recognizing what he's doing and what to do differently.
posted by Kololo to Work & Money (8 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
The barriers he puts up are really self defeating - ie. not completing tasks at all because the deadline is undefined; constantly giving excuses for gaps rather than promising to fill them ("i didn't do it cause i was busy with xyz personal things" rather than "sorry i'll do that right away"). He applies for jobs he's overqualified for because he doesn't know how to sell himself. He pushes on little things (dress codes etc) because he's technically "right", rather than picking his battles.
I don't think he even knows that these are problems or recognizes that these are things that are holding him back. In his personal life, he's a cooperative, intelligent and trustworthy guy. He's smart but has spent his life in unskilled or dead-end jobs, and he's floundering in those.
For those of you who have read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, I see a lot of commonalities between this friend and the unsuccessful genius he profiles - lots of intelligence and a good person, but without the skills on how to deal with authority or how to navigate systems/bureaucracies/management to succeed in a conventional way. He wants to succeed in that conventional way.
So, my question: what are the books or courses (etc) that teach this stuff? The 'how to succeed at work' type books, that aren't targeted exclusively for executives or white collar professionals?