Visions of the Intangible

Not everything that can be measured is important. What can be measured is usually the tangible, black and white facts. The numbers. Actions. The hard skills.

Yet try to run a business without soft skills. Without effective interpersonal skills, suddenly profitability suffers, personnel issues mount, decision-making is limited and chaos reigns. Because what is important starts with attitude, the intangible, and flows through our communication – whether verbal or non-verbal.

Many experts and executives focus on the Hard Skills – those tangible, fact driven elements that are black and white; credentials that prove employability, professional development and technical merit. It is suggested these qualities are what sets apart the wheat from the chaff.

This thinking overlooks a key ingredient.

Human drive comes from the energy around us. The compelling force that accepts, approves and appreciates. (Thank you, Les Giblin!) See this force in social settings and transfer it into others. Before long, the timid individual begins to see themselves in new ways.

There is nothing like confidence. We experience it in how we see ourselves as well as in its impact on those around us. In time we begin to see visions of our values through life and activity around us. The more we see, the greater it amplifies our drive to continue expressing those values.

Last week I missed church again, the third week in a row. The first two I was out of town, and although I missed getting the usual dose of spirit, I moved on, discovering it in other ways. This time, I really missed the people. And I even felt guilty that I’m not being a good member. All because I’ve felt accepted, approved of and appreciated. This week will have a different result. I’ll show up.

Although one could measure my attendance, that isn’t the important piece. My spirit, and the energy I gain from those around me is what’s of value. Measure that? No. But can we see it? Yes.

Anyone who tries to tell you what’s important is what gets measured needs their spirit re-booted. Look around you. Do you see energy? Reflect on your sense of self. Are you feeling accepted, approved of and appreciated? Notice the eyes of those around you, and you’ll see whether they feel that way. Then do something to boost the energy, to reach out to others and to drive what’s important.

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On December 8th, 2009, posted in: soft skills, values by