Question: From your perspective, what people skills do you see MOST lacking in the companies you visit?
Hello Bonnie - Great question! My company and I have listened to more than 40,000 recorded sales and customer service conversations. We've analyzed the conversations, listening for what's missing, and based on careful analysis I make the following assertions:
Most business people are stuck in the information age. That is, through no fault of their own, they are trapped in the information age because we have been born into it. The skills learned in schools and on the job are good for exchanging information, but blind us to the real game of coordinating action and building relationship with others.
Another issue is that most of us are on automatic most of the time. That is, as humans we are in many ways not unlike computers. Much of our biology is fully automatic (breathing, heartbeat, waste elimination, etc.) as is our speech communicatoin. For instance, if I ask you, "What food do people eat at the movies?" The answer is most likely going to be, "Popcorn!" If I ask you how you are doing, the answer is mostly automatic: "Just fine, how are you?".
After analyzing 40,000 discussions, I can safely state that most people in business today are on automatic mode and are fluent in the world of information, but that's as far as it goes for most.
The skill most lacking, again based on detailed analysis, are the abilities to design relationships, coordinate and generate action in the future with others, and using language for superior communication.
Whether you're dealing with sales and customer service or with leadership and management, building trust/credibility and coordinating/generating action using language is the area of expertise lacking across all industries.
We are a generation of information experts. The only problem is that the information age is over! It's dead! There is little competitive advantage, for the average person, in more information or prettier information, because it's ubiquitous.
From my perspective, we have an entire generation that is mostly incompetent when it comes to building trust and credibilty and generating action - all of it by design.
Thanks for asking the question,
This is a fascinating area of research and if there are any consultants out there interested in discussions about something I call the Language Of Commitment and how it can impact your own clients, get in touch with me. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 877-212-6001.