Wat is de belangrijkste soft skill volgens ondernemers?

En 5 manieren om deze te cultiveren!

In het onlangs gepubliceerde Global Talent Trends van LinkedIn kwam naar voren dat ‘soft skills’ van essentieel belang zijn voor het groeien in je carrière. Wat is de belangrijkste soft skill? Creativiteit.

Waarom is uitgerekend creativiteit zo belangrijk? Eigenlijk is het niet heel gek. Creativiteit is de kunst om de wereld op een andere manier te bekijken, om ongewone patronen te herkennen, en om ‘losse’ zaken aan elkaar te verbinden. Vervolgens ben je veel beter in staat in om innovatieve oplossingen te bedenken, en deze aan te dragen als echte oplossingen op echte problemen.

Creativiteit is key in elke functie

Heb jij een échte leiderschapsfunctie in jouw organisatie? Dan zul je creatief met mensen, producten, en situaties om moeten kunnen gaan. Iedereen heeft op een andere manier leiding nodig, en aan jou om daar elke keer op een innovatieve manier mee om te gaan.

Zit je echter in sales? Dan weet je als geen ander dat elke prospect, elke klant, en elke relatie zich in een totaal unieke dagelijkse praktijk bevindt. Geen enkel bedrijf is hetzelfde, dus aan jou om creatief tot oplossingen te komen en dit zaadje op een onderscheidende manier in het brein van jouw gesprekspartner te planten.

Natuurlijk zijn leiders en verkopers niet de enige mensen in het bedrijfsleven waarbij creativiteit van belang is. Of je nou in finance, marketing, of de operatie zit: Altijd kom je wel een situatie tegen waar de standaard oplossingen niet werken. Aan jou om daar creatief mee om te gaan.

Branson, Ferriss, Spielberg, en Jobs zeggen het allemaal: Creativiteit op werk is essentieel.

Hoe kun jij er vervolgens voor zorgen dat jij jouw creatieve capaciteiten vergroot? Allereerst begint het natuurlijk bij de overtuiging dat jij daadwerkelijk creatief bent. Als je begint met het idee dat creativiteit niks voor jou is, wordt het complex.

Als je je deze overtuiging (“Ik ben creatief!”) eigen hebt gemaakt, zijn er nog 5 dingen die je kunt doen om de belangrijkste soft skill bij jezelf te cultiveren:

1. Wees niet bang om risico’s te nemen

Wanneer je nieuwe dingen probeert, zoals creatieve oplossingen, ideeën of initiatieven, is er natuurlijk altijd de kans dat het volledig de plank mis zal slaan. Laat dit je vooral niet ontmoedigen! Als je jezelf de vrijheid geeft om nieuwe ideeën zonder angst aan te dragen, zou je zomaar op iets kunnen komen waar niemand ooit eerder aan heeft gedacht.

2. Houd tijd vrij om je creatief te denken

Eerder hebben we al geschreven over het dagdromen met intentie en een doel. En het lijkt tegenstrijdig. Echter, mensen die vaker dagdromen scoren hoger op creatieve en intellectuele tests. Daarnaast werkt het ook mee dat je tijd vrij maakt in je agenda, om zo ruimte vrij te maken in je hoofd. Als jouw brein relaxter is, zal creativiteit ook eerder komen.

3. Wees open-minded

Onbekrompen kijken en luisteren naar nieuwe ideeën. Dankzij de associatieve capaciteiten van het brein kan creativiteit van anderen ook jouw creativiteit vergroten. Heb jij een fixed mindset? Dat is killing voor creativiteit.

Zoals Richard Branson het ooit zei: “The most thought-provoking, game-changing people are never ‘normal’.”

4. Houdt bewust je aandacht erbij

Ongeveer 7% van de tijd zijn we écht bewust. De overige 93% staan we op de automatische piloot en zijn we dus onbewust. Wanneer je zo af en toe bewust kijkt naar alle informatie en gegevens, kun je jezelf trainen nieuwe dingen eruit te pikken. Kijk met oprechte nieuwsgierigheid naar deze, verbindt de zaken en ideeën, en wie weet met welke creatieve oplossing je zult komen.

Steve Jobs: “Creativity is connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they don’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after awhile.”

5. Stel grote vragen

Stel de vragen die anderen niet snel (durven te) stellen. Dat daagt de conventionele manier van denken en handelen uit. Zo kom je tot oplossingen die je eerder niet voor mogelijk had gehouden. Daag de status quo uit, en neem vooral geen genoegen met ‘Zo hebben we het altijd gedaan!”

Tom Bilyeu omschrijft het als volgt: “Whatever problem you’re facing, ask yourself a simple question: All politeness and political correctness aside – with total disregard for what is socially acceptable or what you WANT to be true – what would it actually take to solve your problem?”

Wat is de belangrijkste soft skill, volgens jou? En hoe ga jij ervoor zorgen dat jouw creativiteit vergroot wordt? En dat van jouw team of afdeling? Jouw gehele organisatie? Laten we daar samen eens naar kijken. Neem contact op!

Why do we like what we like?

The four-letter code for popularity

How did one man understand what so many different consumers wanted? In what manner did he use psychology to sell his ideas and designs? What can you do, to sell anything to anyone?

Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, had a theory. He was the all-star 20th-century designer of the Coca-Cola fountain and Lucky Strike pack. Furthermore, he designed the modern sports car, locomotive, Greyhound bus and tractor. Additionally, he designed the interior of the first NASA spaceship and the egg-shaped pencil sharpener. Ergo: What is popular, and when? And how you can sell anything to anyone?

Watch his TEDx talk here.

#subconscious #brain #familiarity #recognition #sales #salesdevelopment #design

5 Resolutions for Sales Leaders

Make the next 12 months successful

If you’re in sales, you have got a lot of things going on. Following up on leads, calling prospects, managing customer experience. Depending on the size of your organization, you’re also setting meetings, creating proposals, and checking up on delivery. We all know it’s a lot. So what should sales leaders focus on?

Imagine you manage a group of sales executives. You’ve got all of the above ánd checking up on your people to make sure they’re on target. Meetings with the people ‘above’ you, meetings with the people ‘below’ you, and meetings with all other stakeholders.

Because you’re all so busy with the day to day operational side of the job, it’s easy to get stuck in that. You’ll keep on managing dissatisfiers, and you’re focus won’t be providing extra value or differentiating from your competitors.

Aside from the operational dealings, which have to happen, what should you focus on? It doesn’t matter if you’re an account manager, sales executive, or sales manager. We mention 5 resolutions that will enable any forward-thinking sales leader to hit target easier than before.

Have strategic conversations with your clients. Not just tactical conversations.

The world is changing daily. Technological innovations, new legislature, or key economic events. Mike Houghton says: “Understanding your customer’s mindset can help you have a strategic conversation about or guide the conversation towards one focused on business outcomes. In fact, it’s useful to think of yourself as a consultant rather than a salesperson. When you start to think of it [your conversations with the customer] that way, talking about type, brand, feeds and speeds will often be irrelevant.”

Spend time daily developing your skills and mindset.

If you’re not on top of your game, you will lose to one (or several) of your competitors. As a result, it is important that you spend time daily to develop yourself. For instance: Develop your skills. Develop your mindset. Develop your knowledge.
If you’re a manager, enable your sales people to develop themselves. Provide training, books, and courses.

Focus on what you do best, not what everybody else is doing.

At Vision Forward, we know what we do best. We enable people and companies to be highly successful. That means we’re narrowing our focus to ensure that our resources are well spent on providing that value to our people, our clients, and their clients.

Help your customer act, not just react. Think proactively.

Mike Houghton states: “Addressing your customer’s desired business outcomes – whether those include reducing costs, increasing efficiency, or improving safety – means that a 30,000-foot approach to their environment.” That’s your only job as a sales person or consultant. So make sure that you enable your clients to reach their goals faster.

Look to the future – not the past.

If your focus on the things that happened in the past, you won’t be able to step forward into the future. It sounds cliché, but that is because it’s true. When you do the things you’ve always done in the past, you will not get different results in the future. It’s that simple.
That does mean, however, stepping out of your subconscious patterns.
Look out for the innovations that might change your business, or the businesses of your clients, and anticipate. Where are the opportunities? Where do possible risks lie? If you’re providing value to your clients based on what you know and they don’t, you’re one up.

#success #sales #nerdsofhumandevelopment #salestraining #deveopment #subconscious

Click here for the Mike Houghton article on Forbes.

The Art of Active Listening

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply

Everybody has heard this cliché. It’s not new. But somehow, most people don’t practice the art of active listening – which is listening to understand. To really comprehend. To be emphatically engaged in a conversation, and trying your best to understand the other person’s point of view, and digging deeper if you need to.

The people who do practice the art of active listening, radiate something special. And why? Because they have put aside their ego and are really involved in your story. They have set aside their subconscious, automatic patterns.

These people are the leaders that truly inspire. Or the team members that can bring order in a team that was chaotic before. The sales rep that gets new business deals again and again, because (s)he is actually trying to create win-win situations with clients.

Glenna Fulks gives a practical trick to improve your active listening: “Count to eight before you reciprocate.  I have been guilty of hi-jacking a conversation and realizing that I spoke too soon and cut off the other individual’s response. It will seem like an eternity, but be smart and give the person with whom you are communicating the time to acknowledge your comment or statement. It builds respect and credibility. Not only does this expand the opportunities for communication, but you also allow yourself time to hear and take notice of their cerebral nuances.”

#success #nerdsofhumandevelopment #listen #art #subconscious #visionforward #sales #leadership #teambuilding

Read the original article on LinkedIn.

It’s Not Enough to Be Right—You Also Have to Be Kind

Takedowns and clever quips are easy, but empathy and persuasion are better

Ryan Holiday writes about the difference between being right and stating blunt facts to prove your point, and being kind and persuading others to come and share your point of view.

Pushing your opinions, facts, and studies might be ‘true’, but that doesn’t mean that others will accept it, act on it, or even believe you (on a subconscious level). If you work with others, and you’ve pushed your point of view on them, you’ll probably experience the backfire that comes from that.

If you’re in a leadership position, and you push your ideas on others, what happens? How intrinsically motivated will they be to pursue the goals you’ve set together?

If you’re in sales, and you push your ideas on your prospects, will they leave every experience they’ve ever had behind and pursue your vision on their company and results? Chances are slim.

Don’t try to persuade others. It doesn’t work. The best you can do is guide them into new insights that they ‘come up with’ themselves. We can help with that.

Holiday ends his excellent article, which can be read here, with this thought: “If you can’t be kind, if you won’t empathize, then you’re not on the team. That team is Team Humanity, where we are all in this thing together. Where we are all flawed and imperfect. Where we treat other people’s point of view as charitably as we treat our own.”

#success #kindness #pushversuspull #subconscious #nerdsofhumandevelopment #visionforward

The Lifelong Journey Of Personal Development

What does personal development mean to you?

The term “personal development” is very much a part of today’s lexicon, but have you ever thought about what it really means?

Svetlana Whitener describes personal development “as a transformational journey, and improving your emotional intelligence (EI) can be a major part of that journey. This is because EI develops your self-awareness and gives you the tools to understand your own needs and the needs of others. EI also elevates your self-actualization by allowing you to honor those needs as well as understand them.”

Personal development, according to us, is very much linked to improving your emotional intelligence on the one hand. On the other hand, what new beliefs can you adapt and make your own? What skills do you need to learn in order to achieve what you want to achieve? How can you increase your sphere of influence? With yourself, and with others?

Whitener also states a number of steps she deems necessary in your lifelong journey of personal development:

  • Be honest
  • Be brave
  • Be curious
  • Be excited
  • Be creative
  • Be proud
  • Be proactive
  • Be forgiving
  • Be an internal light
  • Be progressive

We know, of course, that personal development (and professional development) is also predicated on the goal you tie it to. WHY do you want to develop yourself? WHY is it important? What Goal are you trying to achieve? Without a Goal, without that point on the horizon, the ease with which you develop yourself will be much less – all because of the way our brains are wired.

Need to take the next steps in developing yourself, personally or professionally? Need to improve yourself? Your team? Your sales? Your leadership? The way customers perceive you? Let’s get in touch.

#subconscious #success #nerdsofhumandevelopment #personaldevelopment #professionaldevelopment #visionforward

Want to read the original article? Click here.

3 Signs You’re the Toxic Person in Your Workplace (and What to Do About It)

People tend to have a natural aversion to those who make it all about themselves. But wait, is that person you?

Inc. states: “Almost every workplace has at least one toxic employee. You know the type — always negative, tends to bully others, distracts much of the team … the “bad apple” that ruins the barrel. But what if someone were to tell you that you were that person?”

What are the signs that you are the “toxic person”? And what effects does that have on your workplace satisfaction? The relationships you have with your colleagues? With your customers and clients? Your prospects?

Try and look as objectively as possible. If you tick the boxes, it’s time to look at how you can change your behavior, as well as influence how people perceive you. And what lies underneath, on a subconscious level, that you behave like you do?

Do you:
– Make everything about you?
– Say and do passive-aggressive things?
– Feel and show jealousy of other’s successes?

You might be the toxic person in your environment. How does that affect your success? Lead yourself to a better place.

#nerdsofhumandevelopment #success #toxicpeople #subconscious #visionforward #personalleadership

Read the original article here.

The Importance of Great Customer Experience

Companies that make superior customer experience a priority reap the benefits of repeat business, ultimately developing a loyal and concrete customer base.

ManagementEvents states: “Customer experience is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful business. If a business manufactures a product that is of great quality and captures a niche in the market with the most amazing features but fails to provide its customers with an environment where they feel comfortable, that business can never be successful.”

And we agree. In the article, you’ll find a number of techniques and strategies that’ll allow you and your people to take the next step in positively influencing the customer experience.

However, if you look critically at your team – do they have the skills to take that step? And if so, do they believe that it’s worth it? Which member of your team might not care as much as you do? Is that a problem? And if so, how to fix it?

This is why Vision Forward know for a fact that an intervention on a deeper level is needed, for every individual, every team, and every organization. The subconscious level. If you don’t tackle someone’s subconscious belief system first, most of the taught skills and knowledge won’t ever be put into practice.

#success #nerdsofhumandevelopment #customerexperience #CX #visionforward #subconscious

Read the full article here.