Whistle While You Work

The tender Snow White possessed clear optimism in her efforts to motivate those seven dwarfs.  She used “soft skills” very effectively.  Before they finished whistling their tune, her team had completed their task.

What are these “soft skills” that businesses and industry are adopting for management training?  Emotional Intelligence or EQ (Emotional Quotient) has become a buzz word for today’s management.  There’s good reason for that.

In our current economic climate, the stress of doing business today has zapped strength from management.  Doing more with less has become the directive.  The amount of stress compounded between employer and employees is taking its toll.  Stress begets stress, and the cycle interferes with productivity.

So as managers, how do we cope?

It appears that managers can more readily adapt to this challenge when they have certain emotional intelligence abilities—forming good working relationships, being cooperative and constructive members of a group, controlling anger and other impulses, and in general being pleasant to be around. The Center for Creative Leadership,, has found that the primary causes of “derailment in executives” involve deficits in emotional competence. The three primary ones are difficulty in handling change, not being able to work well in a team, and poor interpersonal relations.

Interpersonal relationship skills can enhance the opportunity for change in the other deficit areas.  Improving EQ in the workplace is proven to have a direct and positive impact on leadership and management effectiveness.  These skills affect teamwork and innovation – creativity when you need it most.

Emotional awareness and being able to manage these emotions are the key elements of EQ.  Developing empathy, “learned optimism” (Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD), adaptability, and conflict resolution skills are all pieces to this challenging puzzle.  Emotionally balanced individuals are motivated.  Motivated employees bring a healthier approach to their productivity.  A more productive team means a more profitable business.

So perhaps your management team needs a tune up.  The time is ripe to create an opportunity for management to push through these troubled times.  Give workplace optimism a chance.

Come on get smart, tune up and start to whistle while you work.

  1. Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPC
    Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPCNov 19, 2012

    Lisa, I loved this post! I’ve never thought of the term “soft skills” in conjunction with work and, in hindsight, it’s a no-brainer! Love this! Would you be interested in writing a guest post addressing the role of “soft skills” in building a private practice? Here’s a link to my Guest Posting Guidelines. I think my readers would really resonate with this concept.