Remember the days when we defined everything related to business and work in purely academic terms? Sure you do. Who isn’t disenchanted with data-filled reports that are impressive but fail to touch the strings that create the music?
Today, heart-based language – for example, consciousness, mindfulness and self-awareness – has been added to the mix in the workplace. The business world has acknowledged that incorporating these values is the clear way towards greater successes in all aspects of our lives.
A decade ago, when I realized that my work was welcomed and needed in different sectors, including corporate, governmental and academic, I was initially surprised by the unexpected fit. Countless authors, studies and opinions later, the business world is altogether redefining how to create real success, from the inside out, for individuals, leaders and businesses of all kinds.
To aid this, I coined the term tough skills to talk about the space between logic-based and heart-based languages. Acquiring tough skills means having the discernment and making the determination to strike a much-needed balance between hard and soft skills.
I define tough skills as ‘tough’ because:
- Too many people, still in power, never learned soft skills nor respected them
- We’re still defining how to transfer soft skills into actionable principles to live by
- They are a hybrid of what was, what is, and what needs to be
We are beginning to pay attention to what people really want and why. Tough skills are what a leader needs in order to get rid of some of the habits and thinking that have been ingrained for a very long time. Some old-style leaders are still baffled by statistics documenting the growing sentiment “keep your raise, I want a life.” Heart-based language is now what forward-thinking leaders are seeking to learn and embrace.
Tough skills are my words for what it takes to slowly walk from the base camps of ordinary change to the peaks of extraordinary results and outcomes. Tough skills are what it takes to climb life’s most challenging mountains.